Valley survey reveals optimism for future

A swelling population will bring tremendous change to the Coachella Valley in coming years, and residents appear willing to foot the bill to address at least some of the problems that may lie ahead.

During the sixth Day of Discussion on The Future of the Coachella Valley, presented Friday by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College, government and research experts pointed to a slew of major challenges. Among them: Providing affordable housing, improving traffic flow and preventing law enforcement resources from becoming stretched too thin.

More than 150 attended the four-hour gathering in the meeting center of Fantasy Springs Casino, on the Cabazon Indian Reservation.

An opinion survey conducted by the Rose Institute in May showed that valley residents have increasing confidence in the area’s economy and in their own personal economic futures. Of 400 who responded in a random telephone survey, 57 percent said they were optimistic about the future of their cities and 25 percent said they were very optimistic.

According to the poll, which had a 4.9 percent margin of error, 44 percent of residents said they are financially better off than they were a year ago, compared to 14 percent who said they were worse off. Fifty percent of those surveyed said they expect to be better off next year, compared to 6 percent who expect to be worse off.

Sixty percent of those surveyed rated the valley economy as good, and 10 percent rated it as excellent.