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Winsted residents don’t mind spending money on lake, but don’t ask about airport

March 2, 2009

By Lynda Jensen

WINSTED, MN – Residents of Winsted are satisfied with city parks, sidewalks and trails; wouldn’t mind spending money to improve Winsted Lake – but the airport is a different matter.

That is, according to survey results from a questionnaire recently tabulated by the city. To see a breakdown, click here.

The survey asked questions about everything from the building inspector to whether people are satisfied with emergency response rates.

In fact, the latter received the highest “agree” response with 96 percent saying they are satisfied with emergency response in the city when it comes to the fire and police departments. But that doesn’t mean they want more traffic stops from police (41 percent agree and 59 percent disagree).

When asked about spending taxpayer money on Winsted Lake, 66 percent agreed with this idea, with 34 percent saying that opposite.

Eighty-five percent of residents feel that Winsted is headed in the right direction.

For building inspection services, 72 percent said they were satisfied, with 28 percent not of people who had an opinion about it; but it also registered a high number of “no opinion” responses, probably since not everyone uses this service, Administrator Brent Mareck said.

The question “I believe that taxpayer dollars should be used for the operation and improvements of the Winsted Municipal Airport,” garnered only 18 percent that agreed with this statement, with 82 percent disagreeing; and of those disagreeing, the large majority “strongly disagreed.”

Comments indicated a “user pay” philosophy for airport users, meaning that those who use it should pay for improvements and maintenance.

The idea of building an outdoor pool or splash pad received mixed responses, with 52 percent agreeing and 48 percent not; but the highest single response was from “strongly disagree.” Many noted that the lake could be used for this type of recreation.

The survey was sent in utility bills that were due Jan. 29. Of 900 surveys sent, 238 were returned, or about 26 percent.

Results will be presented to the Winsted Chamber of Commerce. The city will use the results to formulate their goals and action plans for 2009 and ‘10.


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