By Lynda Jensen and Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Residents of Winsted feel the city is headed in the right direction but if that direction happens to be along McLeod County Road 1, they don’t necessarily want to slow down, or stop at a stop sign.
That is, according to survey results from a questionnaire recently taken by the city. To see some sample graph results, click here. To view a list of all questions and the results, click here.
Nearly 60 percent of respondents disagreed with the question “Speed should be reduced to 35 mph on McLeod County Road 1,” noted Administrator Brent Mareck at the Winsted City Council meeting Tuesday.
This question attracted the most “strongly disagree” answers out of all the questions asked, he noted.
Fifty-three percent were not in favor of the statement “There should be a four-way stop sign at Main Ave. W. and County Road 1.” Thirty-one percent agreed with the stop sign, and 16 percent were undecided.
For other questions, respondents gave high marks to Winsted for being a safe community. The comment “Winsted is a safe community to live in” attracted 89 percent, who marked “agree.”
“This is one of our proudest areas,” Mareck said. “These numbers are something that the Winsted Fire Department and police department can be proud of,” he added.
Last year, emergency crews received very favorable reviews again, with the highest “agree” response of 96 percent saying they are satisfied with emergency response in the city when it comes to the fire and police departments.
However, according to last year’s results, that doesn’t mean they want more traffic stops from police (41 percent agree and 59 percent disagree).
When asked about blacktopping the airport, answers were split evenly, with fairly even agree and disagree answers, and a coin flip 30 percent without an opinion.
The question was “I support blacktopping the runway at the airport with 95 percent in federal grant support.” Answers ranged from 37 percent who disagreed, 33 who agreed and 30 percent who were undecided.
Mareck suggested that more be done to communicate about how the airport operates as a business, and where its funding comes from.
“This is definitely an area for discussion in 2010 and beyond,” Mareck added.
City services received top numbers, with 66 percent saying they are satisfied with customer service provided by city employees. The city also received 67 percent of respondents, who agreed that the city “provides the information I need for issues that are important to me.”
However, the city’s web site received a mixed review, since half of respondents answered “undecided” on the statement “I use the city’s web site and find it useful.”
Comments were made such as “I don’t have Internet access,” or “I don’t have a computer,” Mareck said, regarding the high number of undecided answers.
The question “The city spends taxpayer dollars wisely,” received 40 percent “agree” responses, 37 percent disagree, and 23 percent undecided.
Seventy-five percent of respondents felt that the city should “strongly enforce” its weed, blight, and public nuisance ordinances.
Sixty-three percent of respondents felt that Winsted was headed in the right direction, with 12 percent disagreeing and 25 percent undecided.
Three trail questions also garnered answers.
The question “Winsted should continue with trail and sidewalk connection projects,” attracted 54 percent agree, 25 percent disagree, and 21 percent undecided.
“The city should make it a priority to close the Luce Line Trail gap between Co. Rd. 1 and Co. Rd. 9,” received 43 percent agree answers, with 30 percent disagree, and 27 percent undecided.
A third trail question, “I support the use of state bond funds to pave the Luce Line from Winsted to Cedar Mills,” received 42 percent agree answers, with 34 percent disagree, and 24 percent undecided.
The lake once again earned support, with 63 percent of respondents agreeing that “The city should be financially committed to funding water quality projects in Winsted Lake.” Fourteen percent disagreed and 23 percent were undecided.
This year, 900 surveys were sent with 208 returned to the City of Winsted, or about 23 percent. Last year, of the same number of surveys sent, 238 were returned, or about 26 percent.
The surveys were sent only to those who receive utility bills (one per household).
Well over half of respondents were over 46 years old (59 of those 46 to 60, and 60 who were over 60 years old), for a total of 119 out of 208. The 31-to-45 age bracket sent in 30 surveys, and 18-to-30 sent in 16.
Most respondents also divulged how long they lived in the city, with 94 reporting they lived in the city longer than 15 years. The next largest group was those who didn’t answer the question (56 respondents), 34 who reported living in Winsted between five and 14 years, and 24 who lived in town less than five years.