Strong Support for FL County Conservation Bond

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FLORIDA, 5/26/2004: Results from a new public opinion poll commissioned by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation nonprofit, indicate that Indian River County voters would strongly support a $50 million bond and 1/2 mill property tax increase on the ballot this fall to acquire and preserve environmentally significant lands, cultural heritage landscapes, and agricultural lands for the protection of water resources, open spaces, and wildlife habitat. In the TPL poll, voters were asked whether they would support a $50 million bond issue for land and water conservation. By a 2 to 1 margin (56 percent to 25 percent), they said they would vote for the bond.

“These are very encouraging numbers,” said Will Abberger, associate director of TPL’s Conservation Finance Program. “Our results clearly indicate that the people of Indian River County want to see the county’s land conservation program continue to preserve their land and water resources and they are willing to pay for it.”

The survey found that limiting growth and development is a very important concern for Indian River County voters. When asked about the most important problem facing county government, voters overwhelming chose growth and development, which was ranked as more of problem than jobs and the economy or schools. By a very large margin — almost 8 to 1 — Indian River County voters feel that growth and developing is moving too fast. Eighty-seven percent are concerned that Indian River County will become as overdeveloped as the Palm Beach area and lead to similar traffic, congestion and growth problems.

The survey was conducted by American Viewpoint, a national public opinion research firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. The county-wide survey was conducted by telephone on May 24 and 25 with 400 likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres of land in 46 states. In Florida, TPL has protected more than 290 sites as community parks, waterfronts, historic sites, greenways and trails. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information please contact us at (415) 495-4014 or visit us on the web at

Indian River County, FL Voter Opinion Survey The Trust for Public Land May 26, 2004

In November there may be a bond referendum on the ballot entitled “Environmentally Sensitive Land Preservation” that reads:

To acquire and preserve environmentally significant lands, cultural heritage landscapes and agricultural lands to protect water resources, open spaces or wildlife habitat, shall Indian River County be authorized to issue general obligation bonds maturing no later than 15 years at interest rates not exceeding the legal maximum in an amount not exceeding $50 million payable from an ad valorem tax not exceeding ? mill? If the election were being held today, would you vote for or against this proposal? 56 percent – For 25 percent – Against 18 percent – Undecided 1 percent – Refused

Which of the following do you feel is the most important problem facing Indian River County at the present time? 5 percent – Controlling government spending 7 percent – Holding down taxes 15 percent – Improving local schools and education 4 percent – Fighting crime and drugs 8 percent – Traffic and congestion problems 19 percent – Economic growth and providing more jobs 36 percent – Limiting growth and development 3 percent – Other 3 percent – Don’t Know

Generally speaking, do you feel Indian River County is growing and developing too fast, too slowly, or at about the right pace? 76 percent – Too Fast 2 percent – Too Slowly 20 percent – About the Right Pace 2 percent – Don’t Know

In general, how concerned are you that Indian River County will become as developed as the Palm Beach area and have similar traffic, congestion and growth problems? Would you say . . . 68 percent – Very Concerned 20 percent – Somewhat Concerned 8 percent – Not Too Concerned 4 percent – Not At All Concerned