HAMMOND — A community developer on Tuesday presented the City Council with results of a business survey indicating people have a generally positive impression about Hammond’s business climate.

Stacey Neal, executive director of the Hammond Area Economic and Industrial Development District, said more than 500 respondents participated in the survey.

Those taking part in the survey included members of civic organizations, respondents answering an online survey and residents who voiced their opinions when asked to do so, Neal said.

The most positive response to the August survey, which included 16 questions, came in regard to a category called “Quality of Place.”

Almost 77 percent of respondents agreed that Hammond had availability of sites for new business and expansion of existing businesses, was generally attractive and the city had adequate clinics and health care.

A question regarding education and workforce training in Hammond did not fare as well, Neal said.

While about 68 percent of those answering the questionnaire said the quality and availability of post-secondary education was a local strength, 52 percent of the respondents said the quality of local elementary and secondary education was a community weakness.

Other areas receiving top marks included services by local government, with 83 percent of survey takers rating fire protection as a strength.

About 69 percent of the respondents said police and public safety were a strength, Neal said.

Responses were generally favorable in such local categories as utilities, the strength of markets, leadership and the availability and quality of labor, Neal said.

Neal said the survey results would be used to continue the process of creating an overall plan to help market the Hammond area for new businesses.

Other issues receiving attention from the council included:

SALES TAX REVENUE: Mayor Mason Foster announced that sales tax receipts reported for September show $1.33 million was collected for the month, an increase of 4.15 percent over the same period a year earlier.

Foster called the numbers “absolutely excellent.”