City of Grand Forks asks for input

The Citizen Satisfaction Survey will be distributed to a random sampling of 1,000 residents in early in the new year.

City of Grand Forks staff hope a new survey designed to give insight into public satisfaction will help measure how happy Grand Forks residents are with city services when it is distributed in January.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, Deputy Corporate Officer Sarah Winton outlined the Citizen Satisfaction Survey, which is currently in the works. The survey will be distributed to a random sampling of 1,000 residents in early in the new year, hopefully by the end of January, Winton said.

According to the memo distributed to council, the undertaking of a community survey was identified as a priority in the 2015-2019 strategic plan and is intended to “gauge public satisfaction as it related to the delivery of services in the community.”

The survey will be advertised in the weeks following up to its distribution, and staff will hold “at least two” pop-up city halls around town to inform citizens and answer questions.

The randomized sampling will help ensure the results are representative of the city as a whole, Winton said. Efforts to encourage residents to respond will include an information letter with the survey, as well as a follow-up letter if the completed survey is not received. Respondents will also be entered into an incentive prize draw for completing the survey.

“We have already developed the survey, it is mostly complete,” Winton said. “Since we have had a few more council meetings since [the survey] was initially [drafted] we will be adding a few other items, and council will likely see the survey before it goes out.”

Winton said the survey was last administered in 2009, but data from that survey is not available. Council aims to complete the survey every five to seven years, she said.

Data analysis will take place in February, with communications officer Cavan Gates noting that results of the survey will likely be available in the second quarter of 2017. Gates noted the survey is still in preliminary stages of development.

Urban Systems, a consulting firm the city has utilized in the past for asset management services, will be administering the survey. The total cost is $15,000, Gates said via email. The survey will be a combination of paper and web surveys.

“The overall goal of the survey is to find out how residents feel about the services (broadly speaking) they receive from the city,” Gates said.