Survey results? DREAM on ...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Remember the DREAM Initiative survey of Cape Girardeau residents that kicked off in November? I do.

Remember how it was leaked on an Internet forum and 851 people ended up answering questions? Ditto.

Remember the results of the survey? No?

Yeah, me neither. That's because the results have yet to be delivered, according to Tim Arbeiter, vice president of community development for the chamber. The survey, sent to 3,000 Cape Girardeau residents, ended Nov. 30. Researchers hoped for 300 responses, but after a Web site address for online responses was leaked, more than 850 responded.

Arbeiter was standing in a Cape Girardeau City Hall hallway when I asked about it. He'd expected the report in late January or early February.

On Tuesday, he shrugged in that "if you can't say something nice" way and said he's been checking in weekly to find out what's going on.

Unicom-ARC, the St. Louis-based company managing the study, is doing similar work for eight other DREAM Initiative cities, according to the company's Web site.

I e-mailed Sharon Gotter, Unicom-ARC project manager, to find out what is going on, but she has not yet responded.

Cape Girardeau County Treasurer Roger Hudson is crunching numbers to extend the life of Prop 1 dollars. The plan is to save 15 percent of the half-cent sales tax money dedicated to the Sheriff's Department. Hudson will suggest spending limits at a county commission meeting later this month.

At 10:30 a.m. today, two city of Cape Girardeau officials, planner Martha Brown and development services director Ken Eftink, are scheduled for an appearance before commissioners to talk about the city's peripheral planning intentions.

The county commission meeting starts at 9 a.m. today, at 1 Barton Square in Jackson.

Beverly Evans was named secretary of the city of Cape Girardeau's Parks and Recreation Advisory board at the panel's most recent meeting. The board also agreed to accept a bird sculpture installation from Southeast Missouri Hospital, due later this year.

After Friday's story about Judy Patterson and her struggle to get her flooded Cape Girardeau home rehabilitated, FEMA spokesman Jack Heesch responded with an e-mail.

His note said people with ongoing housing problems should check back with FEMA's Disaster Recovery Center in the shopping plaza at 502 W. Main St., Suite E, in Jackson. The office is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

It's a good idea to call first. Dial FEMA's toll-free registration line, 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585), from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, or register online at Registration requires the name listed on the applicant's Social Security card.

Recovery from a disaster, Heesch wrote, "is a long process, perhaps years. FEMA is here for a short period, relatively speaking. The long-term or 'unmet needs' committees of locals are the folks who provide assistance over the long term for folks like Judy," he wrote.

In Southeast Missouri, there are two ways to connect with community agencies that may be able to help (and not just for a flood-related disaster). Dial United Way's First Call for Help, 334-HELP, (334-4357), or the statewide number, 211.

Questions, suggestions or tips for Lost on Main Street? E-mail or call 335-6611, extension 127

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