Big majority rate Coon Rapids’ quality of life excellent/good

Coon Rapids’ quality of life is rated good to excellent by the vast majority of residents surveyed earlier this year.

While the survey by Minneapolis-based Decision Resources, Ltd. was ordered by the Coon Rapids City Council to get residents’ opinions on the proposed park bond issue (see Page 1 story), general questions were also posed.

The sample included 400 random households who were interviewed on the telephone between Feb. 27 and March 11. The non-response level was 3.5 percent, which is very low, according to Bill Morris, president of Decision Resources.

The survey was valid within plus or minus 5 percent, Morris said.

The survey showed 25 percent of those polled rated the quality of life in Coon Rapids as excellent and another 66 percent as good for a total of 91 percent, while just 1 percent rated the quality of life poor and only 8 percent fair.

“That’s very impressive,” Morris said.

The 25 percent excellent rating ranks in the top quadrile of metro area communities, he said.

And the 1 percent poor and 8 percent fair is very positive, too, Morris said. “The curmudgeon factor is generally 15 percent,” he said.

When asked what they liked most about the city, the highest percentage of residents, 28 percent, responded “convenient location.” Four other questions tallied 11 or 10 percent – friendly people, 11 percent, and quiet/peaceful, small town feel and housing/neighborhood, all 10 percent.

According to Morris, the responses provide an interesting combination of suburban and small town feel generating about the same percentage. “Residents are split on how they see the community,” Morris said.

As to the most serious issues facing Coon Rapids, crime was at the top with 16 percent of responses, with high taxes at 11 percent and too much growth at 8 percent the next highest.

But more significant in Morris’ view is that 17 percent of those surveyed said there was no serious issue; that’s up from 14 percent in the 2012 survey.

“They are your boosters, your core supporters,” he said.

And the figure is three times the suburban norm, one of the highest in the metro, according to Morris.

Indeed, the 11 percent high taxes figure was half that surveys in other metro communities reveal, Morris said. “Twenty percent is the norm,” he said.

“Compared with other communities, the tax climate in Coon Rapids is benign, not hostile.”

When asked if city property taxes were high or low, 46 percent rated them about average and 4 percent low for a total of 50 percent.

The average response in metro communities is 35 percent low or about average, according to Morris.

The residents surveyed also view the value of city services as good (65 percent) to excellent (8 percent) compared with 5 percent poor and 15 percent only fair.

“That ratio is one of the strongest in metro area,” Morris said.

“Normally the negative is up to 35 percent.

The appearance of city facilities was also rated highly – 30 percent excellent and 59 percent good.

And the residents responding to the survey were more than happy with the job the mayor and city council are doing.

While 7 percent responded excellent and 67 percent good, only 2 percent said poor and 9 percent only fair.

That’s in the top 10 percent of communities in the metro area, Morris said.

“You are doing very, very well,” he told the council.

Likewise, residents have few problems with the performance of city staff – 10 percent rating staff as excellent and another 65 percent as good with 3 percent poor and 8 percent only fair.

Those positive numbers, too, put Coon Rapids and its staff in the top 10 percent in the metro area, according to Morris.