In 2014, the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center (Syracuse EFC) conducted a survey of village mayors, town supervisors, town clerks, superintendents, and planning and zoning board members to gauge the level of awareness, understanding, and needs that rural communities have regarding rural smart growth, water infrastructure, stormwater management, land-use planning, agricultural districts and available resources.

Support for NYS rural communities is imperative for the future of rural areas. Syracuse EFC provides direct technical assistance to rural leaders to help address these issues through better operation and management practices. However, the ever-changing needs and priorities of New York’s rural communities means that technical assistance programs must be agile in order to continue providing relevant and appropriate resources. The results of this survey will guide the direction of various and statewide initiatives for rural communities.