With over 5,000 surveys in, residents of Casper and Natrona County say water system improvement, police and fire coverage and street improvement should be the biggest priorities for future city of Casper one-cent sales tax funds.

City officials released the preliminary survey results during a press conference Friday morning. In order, respondents say water, fire and EMS, streets and police should be the city of Casper's areas of greatest focus, followed by senior citizens, city operations and maintenance, community health and the local economy.

Casper city manager John Patterson says there is some concern that voters will not pass the tax for a 14th consecutive time this November.

“There are some things out there that are frightening – there are some people that think we’re free-spending here and blowing money here, there and everywhere,” Patterson said. “I tell folks, ‘You know, give me a little bit if you have any concern about the one-cent and let me just educate you on what we spend the money for,’ because, there’s something in it for everybody.”

The tax was passed for the first time in 1974.

Patterson says the city will hold another interactive one-cent forum Mar. 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Child Development Center of Natrona County, 2020 E. 12th St.

City officials say residents can take the online survey at this link.