Transportation and cost of living highlighted in survey, map results

Shelly Wade, project manager for Agnew::Beck, an Anchorage consulting firm hired to update Cordova's Comprehensive Plan, talks with community members during a meeting to announce the results from a community-wide survey and comment map on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Representatives from Agnew::Beck, an Anchorage consulting firm hired to update Cordova’s Comprehensive Plan, were in town recently to address results of a survey on the plan.

During this meeting, project manager Shelly Wade and associate Molly Mylius discussed and reviewed results from the Cordova Comprehensive Plan Update survey and comment map. These results helped form a summary of the most repeated and supported themes, strategies and project ideas derived from the survey and map.

There were close to 600 comment responses, including 327 on the survey and 268 on the map.

Shelly Wade, project manager for Agnew::Beck, an Anchorage consulting firm hired to update Cordova’s Comprehensive Plan, listens to Michelle Hahn OÕLeary as they discuss the community-wide survey results on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Major themes from the comment map included transportation, maritime and housing.

When asked, “What do you most value about Cordova?” the top three responses included, “sense of community, small-town feel,” “access to outdoor recreation” and “safe and family-friendly.”

When asked, “What are Cordova’s biggest challenges?”, high cost of living ranked at 83 percent, with lack of affordable, quality housing second, at 54 percent and limited ferry access third, at 53 percent.

Nancy Bird listens as Shelly Wade, project manager for Agnew::Beck, an Anchorage consulting firm hired to update Cordova’s Comprehensive Plan, talks with community members during a meeting to announce the results from a community-wide survey and comment map on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Participants in the survey listed, “Secure more consistent, reliable ferry service” as the most important project and strategy to focus on over the next five years. In addition, top answers also included “Incentivize and support small business development” and “Establish long-term maintenance, replacement plans for public facilities.”

Ideas on how to create year-round jobs included “Diversifying the economy,” “Expand maritime services,” “Expand value-added seafood processing” and “Grow wintertime fisheries,” to name a few.

To view the complete list of survey and map results, visit cordovacompplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Cordova-Comp-Plan_Snapshot_January2019.pdf.

Another community visit is scheduled for April to share a draft comprehensive plan. The last visit is scheduled in September to finalize the plan.

For more information, visit cordovacompplan.com.

Agnew::Beck associate Molly Mylius, center, listens as community members, Debra Ethier, Chip Ethier, John Stack and Samantha Greenwood, discuss the results from a community-wide survey at the Cordova Center on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)