|The Woodlands Township traditionally conducts a survey of The Woodlands residents approximately every two years for purposes of obtaining resident opinions of services and for use as a budgeting and planning tool. The survey helps the Township to gauge public opinion of The Woodlands Township and its programs.
In 2016, the survey document was substantially revised from previous surveys, as directed by the Board and Survey Task Force, and included various changes including, but not limited to, the addition of incorporation-related questions and the removal of some questions previously used for benchmarking purposes. The survey was administered by U.S. Mail to households in The Woodlands.
The Woodlands Township has traditionally issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for these survey services. In 2016 an RFP was issued and proposals were received from eight companies: Creative Consumer Research (CCR) of Stafford, Texas; Kent State University (KSU) of Kent, Ohio; Public Research Group (PRG) of Naperville, IL; NewGen Strategies & Solutions (NGSS) of Lakewood, CO; Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WSAC) of Laramie, WY; Lexicon & Lin (LL) of Ogden, UT; ETC Institute (ETC) of Olathe, KS; and National Research Center (NRC) of Boulder, CO. The Board awarded the bid to conduct the 2016 Resident Survey to National Research Center (NRC) in the amount of $40,698.
The results of the 2016 Residential Survey were presented in February 2017 and are available online at: http://thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/7537 .
Based on the historical record of approximately every two years, The Woodlands Township did not budget for a survey in 2018 but staff was planning to do so for the 2019 Budget. However, at a Board meeting on June 21, 2018, Directors indicated the need for the survey in the Fall of 2018.
At The Woodlands Township Board of Directors meeting on June 27, 2018, discussion was held related to the upcoming survey for the Incorporation Study survey, as well as the cost and timing of preparing and releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Resident Survey. Issuing an RFP for the Resident Survey at this point would most likely incur a time and monetary cost of re-working the questions, and then pre-testing the new questions, and creating a timing schedule that could last into Spring 2019.
Understanding the importance of keeping the questions the same for benchmarking purposes and in the interest of time, the Board of Directors authorized the President/General Manager, at the June 27, 2018 Board meeting, to negotiate a price with National Research Center, Inc. (NRC), the company that produced the survey in 2016 and 2017, and return to the Board in July for final determination.
NRC is a leading research and evaluation firm focusing on the information requirements of the public sector, including local and state governments, the federal government, special districts, non-profit agencies, health care providers and foundations.
For 2018, NRC delivered a proposal with two price breaks as described below, utilizing methodology that administers the survey primarily by mail with an online response option.
The timeline for this proposal includes a Notice to Proceed by August 3, 2018, survey materials to be mailed September 14 to 28, 2018, and draft report on November 30. Final report and data would then be sent to the Township on December 14, 2018.
- Option 1) 2,500 surveys, about 620 returned, 4% margin of error, at a total not to exceed the cost of $32,017
- Option 2) 4,500 surveys, about 1,100 returned, 3% margin of error, at a total not to exceed the cost of $39,883
Please see attached proposal from NRC for more information regarding pricing, schedule, methodology, scope and personnel.
In addition to review of the survey proposal, the Board is asked to review the survey instrument to ensure the questions to be included in the survey remain relevant and appropriate. Discussion of the survey instrument questionnaire should also take place at the July 19 Board of Directors meeting, prior to any action to authorize initiating the survey.