Survey highlights satisfaction trends in Hutto

Survey highlights satisfaction trends in Hutto

The results are in, and Hutto may be one of the best-loved cities in Texas according to the latest survey. When it comes to living and raising children, Hutto earned a higher level of resident satisfaction than other Texas and United States cities on average, according to the results from the ETC Institute.

“This survey is like a snapshot. It is a picture in time and at that moment, that is what your residents indicated,” said Robert Heacock with ETC Institute, a market research firm focused on governmental organizations. Heacock and Elgin Director of Communications Allison Strupeck presented the findings of the second biennial city services and culture survey to council at a Feb. 1 workshop.

The seven-page survey was conducted in English and Spanish through the months of November and December 2023. In all, 429 residents completed the questionnaire (one respondent per household), which ETC says gives the results plus or minus 4.7% margin of error.

Overall, 78% of respondents rated the city as an excellent or good place to live; 76% rated the city excellent or good as a place to raise children; and 89% of respondents surveyed indicated they feel safe overall in the city. Fewer than 5% reported feeling unsafe in their neighborhoods, even at night. In spite of higherthan- average scores in many categories, almost all major categories of service had decreased in satisfaction in the 2024 survey versus the 2022 survey.

“Our experience across the country in this last year or so is that most, if not all, of our clients have experienced some downward movement in public opinion. Can’t say it’s related to one particular item but I can say that we’re seeing people a little bit more questioning some of the items they’re being asked about,” Heacock said.

There were a few surprises, such as how satisfied residents are with the city library. In the last round of budget discussions, many in the city discussed the need to build a new library or move the current facility. But residents who responded to the survey were overwhelmingly satisfied with the size, location and accessibility of the library just the way it is.

Respondents gave solid waste services, trash collection and police services a thumbs-up, with 72%, 83% and 78% responding as satisfied, respectively.

While the condition of street signs ranked high with 72% satisfied, that’s where the good feelings about Hutto’s roads ends.

On average 32.8% of Texas residents rank the flow of traffic on city streets as satisfactory, but only 7.8% of Hutto residents are satisfied. And when it comes to flow of traffic on major roads/ highways in Hutto, only 6.3% are satisfied, versus 29.2% for other Texas cities, according to the data from ETC.

Maintenance of city streets, water utility services and parks were also on the list of topics respondents were dissatisfied with, indicating a need for the city to invest in those areas.

The next survey is scheduled for 2026. Mayor Mike Snyder asked if the company could schedule the survey in August so the results can be available to the future council members and city staff in time for annual budget considerations.

“ETC’s methodology ensures the actual demographics of the diverse Hutto community are represented and can be properly benchmarked in comparison to other communities,” Strupeck said in a statement. “The survey data are a key input for city leaders both in their strategic planning efforts as well as annual budget development. The study looked not only at current city services and facilities, but also potential future investments as well as diversity and inclusion issues.”

Are you curious about the insights a survey can offer your community? Contact a member of the ETC Community Survey Team today.