Housing Survey



A survey was taken of the personnel permanently assigned to work at Camp Guernsey most of whom live somewhere other than Guernsey. We though this might give us some insight on why these people chose not to live in Guernsey, and what we might do to entice people to our community.

Following are the results of the survey:

1. Of the 113-115 permanent personnel assigned to the Camp, 75 returned the survey.
2. Of the 75 people responding, 36 live in Guernsey and 39 live elsewhere (Torrington, Wheatland, Lingle, Hartsville, etc).
3. Of the 36 personnel living in Guernsey, 12 rent and 24 already own a home.
4. Of the 12 renters living in Guernsey eight (8) are interested in buying a home.
5. Of the 39 people living elsewhere, 19 own their home and 20 are renting.
6. Of the 19 owners, 10 said they would not move to Guernsey, three (3) said they would and 6 said they might.
7. Of the 20 who are renting, 10 said they’d move, six (6) said they would not move and five (5) said that maybe they would move to Guernsey.

If we take the original 71 people the Camp estimates they will add over the next ten years and add the additional 8-10 permanent Air Force personnel Colonel Mount expects, we could be looking at around 81 permanent personnel moving into the area over the next ten years. Then if we add in the results of the survey we could increase that number by 21 "yeses" and 11 "maybes" for a grand total of 113 potential new homes.

Looking at the results from the survey, getting people to move here is also based on what we, as a town, are willing to do. And I am confident that the same will apply to new people moving into the area.

People taking the survey were asked; what amenities would they like to see in a home; number of bedrooms, baths, cost, etc.? They were also asked what amenities Guernsey would have to have to entice them to move or buy a home here. Following are the results:
A. Homes: Basically, people want affordable housing in a good location. I have to assume from this that most felt that the homes here were overpriced for their age, condition and location. When asked what they thought a reasonable price of an entry level home was, the answers were anywhere from $35K to $150K. However, most fell between $60K and $90K. Most surveyed felt that there was no land available in a good location on which to build a home. (From reading the surveys it appeared that location is nearly as important as cost). And to confirm this feeling there were complaints that our zoning ordinance allowed "junk holes" to pop up everywhere, haystacks inside the town limits and trailers allowed next to homes.

Nothing was asked about what size of home was desired in terms of square footage, but the needs of those surveyed ran from two (2) bedroom-one (1) bath, to five (5) bedrooms-four (4) baths. Most wanted a garage. A few would live in a trailer if it was doublewide. Some had crossed out trailer and wrote in "Modular" as an alternative to a home of standard construction.

Using the survey data and best guess, it looks like the average home would be two (2) to three (3) bedrooms, two (2) baths and a garage with a total square footage of about 1200, not counting the garage.

B. Town: Guernsey offers a number of things; it is located along the North Platte River making it a picturesque location; the winters are usually milder than other areas, and the winds are usually less strong. But working families want more. And even though Torrington and Wheatland do not have great shopping centers they offer more choices than Guernsey does at this time. When asked what, other than housing, it would take to consider moving to Guernsey, they replied:
a) Medical/dental facilities
b) Steakhouse
c) Swimming Pool
d) Youth Center
e) Activities for teenagers
f) Bowling Alley
g) Hardware/Auto Parts (that stay open on weekends)
h) Fast Foods (It is assumed this means Burger King, etc.)
i) Movie Theater
j) Barber Shop
k) Clothing stores (One answer was "a place to buy socks and shorts.")
l) A selection of grocery stores
m) More recreational activities

We in Planning and Zoning feel that Guernsey is at a crossroad. However, if the town plans on moving ahead it needs to take a hard look at our infrastructure from both a capacity and reliability standpoint to make sure it can handle an influx of people. One other thing that may impact the decision to reside in Guernsey is the price of gas. If it continues to rise, as it looks like it will, this could become more of a deciding factor.

Our next plan is to invite the whole business community to a meeting, bring them up to date on the latest plans of the Guard Camp, and review the survey results with them. Colonel Mount has offered to take them on a tour of the camp if they so desire.