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Expect a call this winter…
Seagull PME now gathering information
Applications by the city of Cotulla for funding from the Texas Water Development Board will require an overall view of the community’s economy, including household income.
Having contracted Austin-based Seagull Project Management & Engineering earlier this year for help in seeking out state funds, the city has given the green light to a new survey that will ask a number of families how much they earn and how many people live under their roof.
If approved, the city can hope to garner millions in state monies for repairs, improvements and equipment replacement to its water utility system, notably in wastewater treatment, storm water control, and drinking water supply, according to Seagull PME representative Becca Oliver last week.
Some Cotulla residents should expect to be contacted within the next 90 days with a brief survey that includes what Oliver describes as sensitive questions regarding household income.
It is the personal content of the responses, according to Seagull PME, that prevents the company from widely advertising the survey, linking its questions to a city website, or advertising it in the manner in which earlier demographic surveys were promoted.
Oliver said the survey will be similar but considerably shorter than one conducted earlier this year through engineers CDM Smith for the city’s hazard mitigation plan. In that survey, residents were asked about emergency response, living conditions, and their assessment of the city’s services. The hazard mitigation plan summarized city residents’ priorities and paired them with a demographic study for a file that has been forwarded to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The survey hosted by Seagull PME will be completed by mid-February at the latest, according to Oliver, but the company is hoping to snare as much information as it can “within the next few weeks.”
“Our goal right now is to spread awareness,” Oliver said last week, “so that when the team is in the city collecting contact information, people understand this is a legitimate effort on behalf of City Hall and that the results are confidential and will be used for funding applications.”
She added that she hopes those families who are contacted for the survey will be willing to give complete answers.
“We completely understand that some families may be reluctant to give personal information such as their income amounts,” Oliver said. “We hope that by spreading the word regarding the nature of this, and reassuring residents that it is confidential, we will encourage people to agree to support the city in its funding applications, which are vital for the improved quality of life in Cotulla.”
Questions regarding the survey should be directed to Cotulla City Hall. Further information on the work conducted by Seagull PME is available from the city and on its official website.