New community survey will help guide City Council on future policy decisions
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In an effort to garner feedback, the city of Steamboat Springs is preparing to send out a survey to randomly selected residents.
A planning committee, comprised of members from Steamboat Springs City Council, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Steamboat Springs Chamber and city staff, have been meeting for months to design the survey, which will include 25 questions. Respondents will be asked to weigh in on a variety of issues, including quality of life; housing; growth and development; city services and long-term funding; recreational activities; tourism impacts; parking; historic preservation; environmental initiatives; and short-term vacation rentals. The survey also will include demographic questions.
The city hired a professional surveying company to randomly select 2,000 fulltime residents with an additional 500 second homeowners, who will all receive the survey.
The surveys will be sent out by mail Thursday, and postcards alerting residents they’ve been selected to take the survey and asking them to look for it in the mail were sent out Tuesday.
“Please fill it out, we absolutely need to have a really strong response rate,” said Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s special projects and intergovernmental services manager. “Data from the survey is important to what the community will look like in the future, both in terms of the services we provide, the plans we put in place and how those plans shape the future of the community.”
Half of the survey questions ask respondents to rate certain aspects of life in Steamboat, such as education, recreation and housing. Those responses will then be compared with previous survey responses as well as other resort communities of similar size.
“If you’re lucky enough to get the survey, take the time and follow the instructions,” said City Manager Gary Suiter.
Suiter said one goal of the survey is to ensure the city has quantified answers on how residents feel about city services and how they can be improved.
“There’s always a lot of conjecture and a lot of opinions that you hear on the street. You read the blogs, and you try and form opinions as to which direction the city should go,” Suiter said. “When cities do this, it provides a statistically valid response to City Council upon which they can form their policy decisions.”
After survey responses are collected, the surveying company will analyze the data and present the findings to City Council in January 2021.
“It really provides some concrete feedback to City Council upon which they can form their policy decisions going forward,” Suiter said.
He added that the city frequently hears from the same small group of people, and the survey aims to get feedback from those who do not usually interact with the council.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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