City surveys sent to residents

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City officials are asking residents for patience when they go online to take the city's survey.

Residents in the city of Steamboat Springs began receiving postcards this week for the community surveys, which should take 15 to 20 minutes to fill out. Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said the city received a number of phone calls from residents saying they had trouble getting online to take the survey.

She asks that residents first double-check to make sure they have the right Web address. DuBord also said the Web site could be busy, and that residents should try again later.

"Everybody was trying to do it first thing Wednesday morning," DuBord said of the delays.

A number of people also called DuBord back to say they had not waited long enough for the Web site to upload.

"It is not something that immediately pops up. If you give it a little time, it pops up, and it works," she said.

At the beginning of the week, about 3,000 postcards were sent to registered voters, second-home owners and businesses in Steamboat Springs. The Northwest Colorado Council of Governments randomly selected names from the Routt County Assessor's Office, the voter registration list and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's list of businesses.

The residents can go to the Web site listed on the postcard and enter a code to take the survey, or they can send the postcard back and have a survey sent to them.

Residents have two weeks to respond to the surveys.

As of Thursday, DuBord said the city had received 25 online responses. This is the first time the city has offered an online survey. City officials hope the online version will be an easier and more flexible way to respond to questions and add comments and suggestions.

The Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, the organization conducting the survey, reports that at least 50 percent of respondents to their surveys use the Internet.

Answering the surveys online also makes it easier to enter data and tabulate the survey results, DuBord said.

The survey includes about 125 questions. A portion of those questions is geared toward second-home owners and will not be filled out by full-time residents.

Residents will be questioned about their satisfaction with city services and their opinions about community needs and priority issues that the City Council should address. One section of the survey asks residents to tell city officials how they would spend taxpayer money for public facilities and programs by budgeting between $10 and $100 on various projects.

"This information is very important to the City Council and city of Steamboat Springs," DuBord said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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