Village of Hamburg residents think the improvements to Main Street and the business district added to the sense of community in the village, according to a survey by a Hilbert College graduate student.
Erin M. Carmina, who presented her findings to the Village Board on Tuesday evening, said she tried to find out how residents and businesses perceive the outcomes and the importance of the Main Street grant program. The village was successful in obtaining grants for four years, totaling $800,000, for facade improvements along Main and Buffalo streets. The grant program, along with the reconstruction of Main Street and installation of four roundabouts in the village, are credited with transforming the village into a pedestrian-friendly community with a strong commercial core.
The village was ready for redevelopment, with tired buildings, some of which were empty. “The village experienced disinvestment over the years,” Carmina said.
Carmina distributed information about the online survey to 1,250 residents and businesses, including delivering postcards to 600 residents living near the business district. She said there were 169 responses, for a 13 percent response rate. More than half the respondents were 46 to 65 years old, she said.
Most respondents to the survey believe that the improvements offer greater opportunities for businesses, enhance the appearance of properties and foster a personal sense of belonging in the village and pride within the community. Respondents also believe that the improvements increase the number of community events in the village, such as fairs and festivals.
A number of respondents added comments, and most of the those were positive, Carmina said, while 10 percent could be considered negative. There were negative comments about the village needing more lighting and about a Main Street business with a mural, she said.
Mayor Thomas J. Moses Sr. said the feedback was helpful.
“We, as a village, have set our goals high,” he said. “Things that you presented tonight, we can rebound off of that.”