Coon Rapids planning community survey

A community survey of the residents of Coon Rapids on issues facing the city will take place this spring.

The Coon Rapids City Council has hired Decision Resources, a polling firm located in Minneapolis, to conduct the survey.

According to Assistant City Manager Matt Stemwedel, the statistically valid survey will comprise telephone interviews of 400 randomly selected Coon Rapids residents.

Generally, random samples as proposed for the Coon Rapids survey will produce results that are within plus or minus 5 percent in 95 out of 100 cases, Stemwedel said.

Decision Resources will do the survey in May.

The survey process is anticipated to take three weeks to complete and Decision Resources will present its findings to the council at a meeting in June, Stemwedel said.

According to Stemwedel, Decision Resources has developed a draft survey document based on the last survey it performed for the city in 2007.

The draft survey was presented to the council at a work session April 10, at which time the council made a few tweaks which will be incorporated into the final draft that will be used in the phone calls to residents.

For example, Mayor Tim Howe asked that questions on business development be included in the survey.

There is $25,000 allocated in the 2012 budget for the survey and based on the number of questions that Decision Resources will ask when it calls residents, the final cost will be less than that, Stemwedel said.

The survey has more than 130 questions.

They include:

• What do you like most about living in Coon Rapids?

• What do you think is the most serious issue facing the city of Coon Rapids today?

• Rate the quality of life in Coon Rapids – excellent, good, only fair, poor, don’t know/refused.

• What actions would you recommend to significantly improve the quality of life in Coon Rapids?

• Rate the sense of community in Coon Rapids – excellent, good, only fair, poor, don’t know/refused.

• Do you think residents in other metro area communities have a positive or negative impression of the city of Coon Rapids?

The survey goes on to ask residents about the future of Coon Rapids, how they would rate the quality of various city services, the value residents receive for the property taxes they pay, what they think about the job performance of the council and city staff and whether they feel safe living in Coon Rapids.

Other topics in the survey involve city parks and recreation facilities and how they rate, the proposed community center and where residents receive their information about city government and its activities.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]