FL fares well in survey

Performance measurement a tool in strategic planning

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

The city of Forest Lake fared well in a local performance measurement survey conducted in December.

At Monday’s council meeting, City Administrator Aaron Parrish presented a summary of the results from the 2011 citizen survey.

“Overall, I think this is very valuable information to the council,” he said.

While the survey is not scientific, Parrish said it does provide the city with feedback. There were eight questions and around 175 responses were received for each. He said the municipality will get a modest amount of Local Government Aid for participating in the survey.

Parrish noted that he did take editorial liberties to clean up some of the comments, removing profanity and vulgar language.

As one would expect, he said there were compliments on the work being done in Forest Lake by the city as well as suggestions for improvements.

Survey Results

Below are the highlights as presented:

• 47 percent of those polled were positive about the overall appearance of the city. Citizens cited TH-61 and Northland Mall as areas that need attention, and there were pros and cons for the downtown roundabout.

“This is an area in the future we want to try and do better,” Parrish said.

• 97 percent say that they feel safe in Forest Lake. Comments included a shift in activity; there are more quality of life crimes.

• 73 percent rated the overall quality of fire protection services in the city as positive.

• 75 percent gave Forest Lake good marks for the condition of city streets.

• 67 percent rated the quality of snowplowing as positive.

• 74 percent gave the city good marks for dependability and overall quality of sanitary sewer services.

• 59 percent rated Forest Lake’s water supply as positive.

Parrish said there were more citizens who responded with “Don’t know” than the other questions asked.

• 61 percent were positive for the recreational program, i.e., parks, trails, facilities, etc.

The input citizens gave with the survey will also be helpful as the council’s strategic planning process begins next month, Parrish added.

Strategic Planning

The public is invited to participate in a community conversation where city staff, elected officials and community members will have a dialogue about services, concerns, upcoming projects, and more. Information can be found online at www.ci.forest-lake.mn.us.

The first three sessions are for residents with the final one being for Forest Lake business owners.

Session times and locations include:

• Monday, Feb. 6 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Hosanna Lutheran Church, 9300 Scandia Trail N.

• Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the FLAAA Sports Center, 5530 206th St. N.

• Thursday, Feb. 9 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the media center at Forest Lake Elementary School, 204 SW 4th St.

• Friday, Feb. 17 from 7-8:30 a.m. at the FLAAA Sports Center, 5530 206th St. N.