Committee hangs hopes on survey

Cimarron County’s LEAD Committee has begun their survey of Cimarron county’s residents on the wants and needs of the county and it’s populace. The committee is funded by a grant through Oklahoma State University’s Extension Office. The survey has been circulated through the Cimarron County Ministerial Alliance and was mailed out in the statements of Boise City’s First State Bank.

The churches participating are in Boise City, Keyes, Felt and Kenton.

In order for the committee and the Cimarron County Chamber of Commerce with whom they are working closely to know what direction to go in attempts to attract new business and support those in place, the citizen’s opinions are important. There are also plans in motion to translate the survey into Spanish so that the county’s growing Hispanic community will and can feel welcome and included in the decisions.

The questionnaire asks such things as the age and income of the respondents as well as what their likes and dislikes are for potential future businesses. According to Mark Smith the minister of Boise City’s First Methodist Church and a committee chairperson, they hope to learn what needs the county has.

“We are using the survey in order to assess just about anything in the county” Smith said. “It’s important that we get ideas from the residents; get a sense of what they want.” “In order to get a head start on the county’s future, we need to get the pulse of the people.” “I’ve only seen about 15 that have returned from members of the congregation. They seem to be open to any type of business. However, they do not want any type of corporate hog farming operation here,” Smith said. “Also, all of them have real strong support for the hospital.”

From those who live in Boise City there is a strong emphasis that they want things cleaned up. They want junk hauled away, dilapidated houses torn down and yards cleaned up,” Smith pointed out. “I guess our (the committee’s) greatest hope is to find a consensus of what the people want. When we are divided, or apathetic, it makes getting things done much more difficult,” Smith said.

“We’ll follow the survey with town meetings and focus groups and discussions to build enthusiasm. Those will begin in January or February,” Smith said.