‘Residents love their city …’

Maple Grove citizen survey complete

The residents of Maple Grove have spoken. The results of the 2013 Citizen Survey have been reviewed and accepted by the Maple Grove City Council.

The last survey done in the city was in 2008. The 2013 survey allowed residents the opportunity to rate the quality of life in the city, service delivery and overall workings of local government. A total of 1,200 surveys were mailed out in April and a total of 520 completed surveys were returned, making for a 47 percent response rate.

The questions on the 2013 survey were similar to those asked in 2008, which allowed for a comparative analysis.

Maple Grove City Administrator Al Madsen said of the survey, “It shows our residents love their city as a place to live, recreate, shop, dine, work and many other plus marks. The survey shows residents are also very happy with the planning, vision and leadership that goes into making Maple Grove the 22nd best City in America to live. Of course there is always room to improve and these surveys every five years provides us great insight. Our residents are wonderful and take great pride in their community. Certainly an honor for me to be the City Administrator.”

 

QUALITY OF LIFE

The first finding was that residents enjoyed a high quality of life, a 96 percent rating of “good” or “very good.” This the same percent as was in the 2008 survey. No survey responders felt the quality of life was “bad” or “very bad.”

Most respondents, 99 percent, gave positive marks to the city as a place to raise children.

Parts of life, such as a place to work, retire and raise children, remained stable from 2008 to 2013.

The survey results founds that compared to other areas, all parts of quality of life in Maple Grove were rated much above the national average.

Those survey respondents were asked what were the most important quality of life factors in making a decision to live in Maple Grove. Responses were: neighborhood quality, safety and housing quality. Least important were proximity to work and proximity to family/friends.

 

LIFE IN MAPLE GROVE

Another finding was that residents appreciate life in Maple Grove, but felt a lack of affordable housing options. Fewer than six in 10 gave positive rates for employment opportunities and the availability of affordable housing.

More than nine in 10 awarded “good” or “very good” marks to the city’s overall image, cleanliness, quality of business establishments and recreational opportunities for youth. The overall image or reputation was given a 96 percent rating as “very good” or “good.”

Areas that increased from 2008 to 2013 were: availability of quality health care, variety of housing options, preservation of natural areas, ease of car travel and ease of bus travel. Declining areas were employment opportunities and recreational opportunities.

The survey tried to have responders identify potential challenges faced by the city. Taxes/spending/government, traffic/transportation and development/attracting new residents/businesses were noted.

 

SAFETY IN MAPLE GROVE

As in previous years, residents felt safe in Maple Grove in 2013. Almost all residents reported feeling “very safe” or “somewhat safe” in the city during the day. The percent went from 99 percent in 2008 to 98 percent in 2013. Nine in 10 also felt safe in downtown Maple Grove and in their neighborhood after dark.

Residents felt least safe in city parks after dark, but three-quarters still felt at least “somewhat safe.” These findings are similar to those from 2008.

 

QUALITY OF CITY SERVICES

Residents praised the quality of city services, by a nine to 10 margin.

Services in the city that improved to residents are fire prevention and education, service to seniors, bus/transit services and land use, planning and zoning. The largest increase in ratings was for services to seniors, from 66 percent in 2008 to 81 percent in 2013.

Residents felt animal control, snow removal, sidewalk maintenance and code enforcement declined.

The survey said almost all the services that could be compared to other communities were above or much above the national average. Two were similar to the average — fire services and drinking water.

 

GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE

Citizens also awarded good marks to Maple Grove government performance. Six in 10 gave positive ratings of the job the city government does welcoming citizen involvement and to the value of services for taxes paid to the city.

Compared to residents of other communities across the nation, Maple Grove residents reported high levels of participation in: reading the city newsletter, using the public library and visiting the city website.

The survey gave a 73 percent approval for the overall direction the city is taking.

 

CITY PLANNING

Citizens weighed in on the city’s planning decisions. Nine out of 10 ranked the trails and sidewalks along the parks as “very good” or “good.” These rankings were similar to 2008. Up from 2008 was park-and-ride lots.

An area for improvement according to survey-takers was attracting new employers with professional and executive jobs to the city.

Eight in 10 residents supported a partnership with local youth athletic association to fund a new gymnasium. As in 2008, in 2013 a majority of residents supported increased development of new restaurants in the city.

 

Contact Alicia Miller at alicia.miller@ecm-inc.com

 
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