LOWVILLE Most Lewis County residents would prefer to maintain a public hospital and appear more positive about their lifestyle and economic situation than in prior years, according to a 2012 survey conducted by the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College, Watertown.
Of participants in the sixth annual Lewis County community survey, 58.3 percent said they would prefer Lewis County General Hospital remain county-owned, while only 17.1 percent would favor the facility becoming a private non-profit entity. The remaining 24.6 percent were either unsure or preferred neither of the two options.
Current and former hospital employees or family members surveyed showed a 79.4 percent preference for keeping the facility county-owned, while 55.5 percent of those without direct employment ties still favored a municipal hospital.
More than 52 percent of respondents approved of an annual county subsidy to help offset operating deficits at the hospital, with 23.5 percent comfortable with up to $500,000, 22.9 percent with $500,000 to $1 million, 3.6 percent with $1 million to $2 million and 2.4 percent with more than $2 million.
Nearly 19 percent were opposed to any subsidy, while 29 percent were unsure.
Asked about their overall quality of life, 77 percent of respondents rated it as either excellent or good. Thats up from 73 percent last year.
The percentage of those rating the overall state of the economy as excellent or good jumped from 19.3 percent to 30.4 percent. Thats the highest rate since 35.2 percent in the inaugural survey in 2007.
The report is available at www.sunyjefferson.edu/community-business/center-community-studies/annual-survey.