More survey results needed

Published 12:08 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Low turnouts for a recent survey of Lunenburg County and the towns of Kenbridge and Victoria are prompting county officials to take other approaches for getting citizen input.


Economic Development Director Beverley Hawthorne said the online survey, provided by a Virginia Tech survey system, had initially gotten quick results. Hawthorne estimates a little more than 100 survey results had come in when the survey first went online.

Since that point, Hawthorne said total survey numbers are estimated between 125-130, and very few paper survey copies have been submitted.

Survey results are due July 24.

“We want the input of the citizens,” Hawthorne said. “That’s the important part.”

Hawthorne said there is no definite number the county and town officials want to have, but she said they want to have enough input to see issues that most affect the area.

Lunenburg, Kenbridge and Victoria have partnered with the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) on creating a new Joint Comprehensive Plan, which describes the area’s current demographics, its plans for future growth and steps to accomplish these goals, according to a press release from Lunenburg County.

The last update to the comprehensive plan was a review of the plan in 2012, and set reviews are required by the state.

Community input as a result of the surveys gives officials concrete goals to include in the comprehensive plan, Hawthorne said in an earlier report from The Dispatch.

The survey covers land use, cell service, internet service, housing, employment opportunities, retail and services, preservation of historic structures, healthcare, tourism, all levels of education and law enforcement.

There are spaces on the survey that allow members of the community to voice concerns or elaborate on suggestions.

Hawthorne said she and Lindy Tucker, unit coordinator and associate extension agent of agriculture and natural resources for Lunenburg County, are looking at alternative means to send the survey to more residents.

Some options being explored include randomized phone surveys and handing out paper copies of the survey during the National Day of the Cowboy event, happening Saturday.

Rodney Newton

Town managers Rodney Newton and Robyn Fowler, of Victoria and Kenbridge, respectively, have also been involved in distributing the surveys for the comprehensive plan.

Newton said the surveys are available at various locations in Victoria, including the town office and the Victoria Library.

Hawthorne said the online survey in particular will be able to calculate the exact survey numbers and possibly present interesting finds in terms of the area’s demographic and the issues that most affect area people.

Hawthorne said the surveys are anonymous, meaning residents would not need to submit their names or addresses but would only need to indicate whether they live in town or out of town.

The online surveys can be accessed at

Paper surveys can be picked up at the Lunenburg County Administration Office, the town office in Kenbridge, the Ripberger Public Library in Kenbridge, the town office in Victoria and the Victoria Public Library.

Members of the community can also drop off completed forms at these locations.

The towns and county will also host community meetings in the fall to receive further input and additional committee meetings and public hearings through 2018.

The adoption of the completed comprehensive plan is expected to take place in early 2019, according to the release.