What Do You Think About Albany? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

What Do You Think About Albany?

November 8, 2007

Albany - - Albany and Dougherty County leaders are trying to figure out what it takes to boost development. And they're getting much of their feedback from you. Albany Dougherty's Economic Development Commission recently wrapped up a survey of almost 300 people to hear what you have to say about Albany's future.

There's a reason Laben Kirk moved to the good life city two years ago.

"The people down here I find are genuine and a lot more friendly than a lot of places I've lived in," he says.

But he's found one problem here. Teenage crime.

"There's a church on every corner but it seems like they come out of their doors and don't stand up and put these kids in their place," Kirk says.

City leaders are trying to get a grip on what could change that and where to begin to do it.

"That's really where our community really helped us in getting information," says Andrea Schruijer with The Economic Development Commission.

The commission issued surveys about quality of life in Albany. Almost 300 people responded. But only five percent of the respondents considered the quality of life to be excellent. The majority said it's just average here. 

Similar findings with the economic and business environment here. Over 43 percent of respondents said that's just average too. Twenty-eight people said Albany has a good cost of living, many agree there are good people here, 20 respondents like the size of our area.

Thirty-eight people feel there needs to be improvement in race relations, 30 said there's poor leadership. Other needs improvement items are education, healthcare, and of course, crime.

"We can now work forward to see what our plan and actions need to be," Schruijer says.

Arthur Johnson says bringing more business here would really help.

"It will help out the crime here in Albany. It will be more jobs especially for our younger people," he says.

City leaders say they're taking note. 

The survey is part of the commission's Strategic Plan for Albany and Dougherty County. They plan to continue researching ways to boost economic development and hope to wrap the plan by March.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=survey/bs

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