HOPKINTON — Town Manager Norman Khumalo is pleased to share a summary of the National Community Survey’s Livability Report for the Town of Hopkinton and thanks residents for taking the time to respond to the survey.
The National Community Survey (NCS) reports on a town’s “livability,” or its desirability to be lived in, and offers a holistic view of the town’s quality of life. Analyzed in the report are 10 central facets of a community: Economy; Mobility; Community Design; Utilities; Safety; Natural Environment; Parks and Recreation; Health and Wellness; Education, Arts and Culture; and Inclusivity and Engagement.
The National Community Survey was mailed to randomly selected households in July 2020 and data was collected through Sept.14, 2020. The NCS’s Community Livability Report provides the opinions of a representative sample of 589 residents of the Town of Hopkinton.
“The results from the National Community Survey’s Livability Report are a testament to Hopkinton’s ongoing efforts to continuously improve our residents’ quality of life,” Town Manager Khumalo said. “We are extremely pleased to see numerous ratings within multiple facets increase from our 2013 survey and we look forward to continuing to build upon the work we’ve done to improve town services. We thank those who responded to the survey and also encourage any resident with an issue or concern regarding town services to contact town officials.”
The report states that compared to the 2020 national benchmark, the overall image or reputation of Hopkinton is higher than the national average with 91% of respondents rating it as either excellent or good. Similarly, the overall quality of life in Hopkinton is reported to be higher than the national average with 94% of those surveyed stating that it’s either excellent or good.
(This chart shows the data regarding how residents perceive Hopkinton and the 2020 rating compared to the 2013 rating.)
Hopkinton’s high overall quality of life rating can be attributed to the Town’s well-designed community. A well-designed community enhances the quality of life for its residents by encouraging smart land use and zoning, ensuring that affordable housing is accessible to all, and providing access to parks and other green spaces for residents to enjoy.
Of those who took the survey, 93% of respondents reported that their neighborhood was either an excellent or good place to live, which is higher than the national average. Also, 83% of those who took the survey said that the overall appearance of Hopkinton was either good or excellent, and 94% of respondents stated that the overall quality of the natural environment in Hopkinton and cleanliness of Hopkinton was either good or excellent.
Within the facet of Mobility, eight ratings increased from 2013 to 2020 and seven of the
eight increased by 10% or more. The highest increases were observed for street lighting, traffic flow on major streets and ease of travel by car in Hopkinton. In the survey residents also identified several areas of improvement, specifically regarding public transportation.
Within Hopkinton, public transportation is currently provided by the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority, which has one bus route through the Town. To improve services, the Town recently added a new bus stop at East Main Street/Legacy Farms South due to an increased need for a stop in this area. To also improve mobility within the Town, a Dial-A-Ride service has been recently established.
Residents with any questions or concerns regarding mobility within the Town of Hopkinton are encouraged to the contact MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding signage or any town infrastructure may contact the Town Manager’s Office at 508-497-9701.
In regard to Utilities, the majority of responses stated that high-speed internet, garbage collection, drinking water, sewer services and more were either excellent or good. All of these services play an extremely vital role in ensuring the psychical health and well-being of the Hopkinton community.
In terms of Health and Wellness amenities available in Hopkinton, 80% of those who responded to the survey said that the overall health and wellness opportunities were either excellent or good. Health and wellness amenities available in Hopkinton include tick services, flu clinics, COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, and anti-drug, vaping and smoking campaigns that are sponsored through the Health Services and Public Nurse Office.
The Hopkinton Youth and Family Services (HYFS) is also a resource for residents, providing access to comprehensive social services for youth and families and enhancing behavioral health for the entire Hopkinton community. HYFS provides free, confidential services to Hopkinton residents including individual, group and family counseling; parent consultation; crisis intervention and support; information and referrals; needs-based assistance; and court diversion. To learn more about the HYFS, click here.
Ratings in subsections of the Economy facet have increased in 2020 compared to 2013 for economic development, overall quality of business and services, and those not experiencing housing cost stress. To ensure Hopkinton’s economy continues to prosper, the Town has numerous partners including the Chamber of Commerce and the Hopkinton 20/20 Committee that focus on the Town’s economic development efforts. To learn more about these groups, click here.
Additionally, to assist with any financial burdens brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Hopkinton waived its 2021 licensing fees; supported outdoor seating and serving alcohol to-go; implemented a mortgage and rent relief program for residents; continued sewer rates relief for qualifying seniors and provided a grant to the local food pantry. These efforts have all been made to boost the local economy and financially assist residents.
Throughout the survey, those who participated offered higher evaluations of various aspects of Local Governance in 2020 compared to 2013, including higher ratings for the overall customer service by Hopkinton employees, the overall direction that Hopkinton is going and how well Hopkinton government does at welcoming resident involvement.
Of those surveyed, 67% said their overall confidence in Hopkinton’s municipal government was excellent or good, which is similar to the national average. Seventy percent of survey takers also reported that the Town did either a good or excellent job in generally acting in the best interest of the community.
Those who are interested in having a more active voice in Hopkinton’s government are encouraged to participate in any town committee meetings. To view the calendar of upcoming meetings, click here.
One of the most important aspects of local government is public safety. Hopkinton’s comprehensive safety-related services are essential to its residents’ quality of life. Of those who took the survey, 99% of respondents rated Hopkinton excellent or good in its overall feeling of safety, which is a much higher rating than the national average.
(In the chart above, a “↑↑” denotes Much Higher; 2013 and 2020 safety-related service ratings compared.)
Both the Hopkinton Police and Fire Departments are committed to maximizing the quality of life for Hopkinton residents and ensuring their safety. One of Hopkinton Police’s ongoing programs is its regional Jail Diversion Program which aims to help people in mental health crisis get the assistance they need rather than direct them unnecessarily into the Criminal Justice System. The regional program, which previously included Ashland, is comprised of the Sherborn, Holliston and Hopkinton Police Departments. With just three communities in the regional program now, the program is able to allocate the same resources at a greater capacity to deliver proven intervention services to community members. JDP Clinician Ashley Scionti is scheduled to be in Hopkinton twice a week, but is available five days a week if needed.
The Hopkinton Fire Department also offers numerous emergency preparedness educational resources. One emergency preparedness resource Hopkinton residents can sign up for is CodeRED, which allows them to receive notifications about missing children or persons, criminal activity, fires, drinking water advisories, utility outages, traffic conditions, various threats to people or the environment, and other incidents as deemed necessary by town public safety officials. To sign up, click here.
In the Parks and Recreation facet, according to 92% of respondents the Town’s overall quality of recreational opportunities was either excellent or good. Other ratings in this facet included 87% of respondents indicating the availability of paths and walking trails was excellent or great. Trails in Hopkinton include Hopkinton State Park, Center Trail, Berry Acres and more.
In addition to the Town’s abundant trails, the Town is also home to several road races including the Live For Evan, Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K Road Race, Jimmy Fund Walk, Remax Charitable Foundation Road Race and more. The Town is also the starting line for the Boston Marathon.
In the Education, Arts and Culture facet, 86% of people who took the survey said that the overall education, culture and arts opportunities in Hopkinton were excellent or good. Those looking for additional opportunities to attend any cultural/arts/music events can view event calendars from the Hopkinton Independent and the Hopkinton Public Library. Residents are also encouraged to visit the Hopkinton Center for the Arts to enjoy classes in fine art, dance, music, theater, filmmaking, photography, acting and creative writing.
In regards to K-12 education, 96% of survey takers said Hopkinton’s education was either excellent or good. Within Hopkinton, schools include the Hopkinton Integrated Preschool, Marathon Elementary School, Elmwood Elementary School, Hopkins Elementary School, Hopkinton Middle School, Hopkinton High School and numerous private pre-schools and child care facilities. The Town of Hopkinton also has a school choice option for students who would like to attend the Joseph P. Keefe Regional Technical School in Framingham.
In the Inclusivity and Engagement facet, 97% of surveyed residents stated that Hopkinton was either a good or excellent place to raise children. Also in this facet, 77% of people stated that residents’ connection and engagement with their community and the town making all residents feel welcome was either excellent or good.
Those searching for more opportunities to participate in social events and activities are encouraged to reach out to the Hopkinton Polyarts, Hopkinton Farmers Market, Hopkinton Historical Society and more. Those interested in volunteer or service work are encouraged to reach out to the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center, Serenity House, Project Just Because and Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton.
The Town of Hopkinton also has numerous resources, programs and initiatives available for the senior population including the Hopkinton Senior Center, Council on Aging and Friends of the Hopkinton Seniors organization. The Senior Center offers social, wellness, educational, nutritional, physical and informational programs.
Also included in the survey were an array of special topics that respondents rated the importance of the Town of Hopkinton addressing over the next five years. Focus areas included school facility expansions, expanding public bus services, constructing new athletic fields and a new public safety facility. Of these focus areas, 50% of respondents said school facility expansion was essential. Other focus areas were mostly deemed somewhat important or not important at all by the majority of respondents.
Respondents also shared what the Town of Hopkinton’s general priorities should be and where its focuses should lie.
(This chart shows data regarding what respondents believe Hopkinton’s general priorities should be.)
Overall, the reported ratings for Hopkinton remained generally stable between 2013 and 2020. Of the 79 items for which comparisons were available, 44 items were rated similarly in 2013 and 2020, 12 items showed a decrease in ratings and 23 showed an increase in ratings. To view a comprehensive copy of the results, click here. To view the technical appendices, click here.
The results of the NCS survey will be used to help guide Town officials with decisions on future resource allocation and strategic planning areas.
The Town of Hopkinton appreciates and thanks all those who took a moment to complete the survey. Anyone with any questions regarding the survey can contact the Town Manager’s Office.