Monday, October 05, 2015

And the survey said...

FORWARNING.. if you aren't interested in
small town government.. then by pass this
post, as it is LONG!! .
And I will see you in another day or two.

About a month ago, the town had a survey sent out
to the residents.  The purpose was to see how the
town was doing.. what would you like to have and
not like to have in the town.

I forgot how many households we have here in our
little title town of 660+. But they said that only 15%
of the people return the survey...  Which is kind of
normal.. some people just don't like survey's, I guess.

After the survey's went out..  they had 3 meetings.
The getting to know you meeting at the elementary
school. There was about 8 or 10 HOME TEAM.
What ever that was suppose to mean. They were
people of different resources. One was from the
Idaho Transportation Department. There was a
man who dealt in small business loans, and the
was one to do with economy (not sure what he
was going to do) and to be honest with you, I
don't remember what the other experts were.
There were 2 residents there. One man and my
self.  Then a little bit later another resident
showed up but he was also on the HOME TEAM.
Being his family was here before the beginning of
time, sort of... I guess his expertise was history
of the town.  

Next day came the "Listening" meeting at the
city hall.  Suppose to be 4 or 5 one hour long
meetings.  But I guess because of the lack of
interest the night before, they narrowed it down
to ... one hour..  Of which there were 3 of us
and the head of the HOME TEAM.  There was
the EMT, who does not live here, but does deal
with the people and streets of our little town.
This time there was a man who does business in
our little town... but lives else where. So he gave
information of what he thought our town could use
from the business stand point.
We were to answer questions that the HOME TEAM
asked... What do you like about our town?  What do
you not like about our town?  What is it you don't want
to see come to our town? and what assessment do you
make on the town?  This was an discussion but also
what we were to write down on the paper that they gave
us which with out our names on it.. was collected at the
end of the meeting.

And last but not least... was the meeting that was held
at the old Coldwater Creek building.. When it was mention
the night before.. I said they better have some good directions
there, as the buildings are 4 large ones and most of us
don't know anything about any of the buildings. They
reassured us they would.    NOT....
We, as in a couple, and a man and myself.. went into the
only building that had a light on.  No one was there and
the meeting was to start in  8 minutes. Some house keepers
came by, and didn't know what we were doing there.. but
did try to find out what was going on for us.. But no luck.
So we went out side and another man and a woman join
us as we walked around the parking lot like zombies..looking
for a building that was lit up.  Nothing.  The couple went for
a drive around all the buildings and came up with the proper
place. The one woman gave me a ride to where that was.
Meaning we were 10 minutes late because of lack of directions.

But at least this one was hopeful, as there was about 20
people there besides the HOME TEAM.  Two of our ex
mayors were there.. a couple of business owners and
several of us residents..(about 4 of us)

It seems that the 15% of the people who did answered
the survey... which totaled 51 people... 67 % women,
33% men.  80% of them were over the age of 56. and
88% lived here and 12% were outsiders.(business

For the most part, the survey people liked the town just
the way it is... with maybe a slight twitting.

It started off with to me.. Bonner county likes.. Fire Dept.
Library, schools from K-12  and Emergency/health care.
All of which we get from the County, mainly Sandpoint.
City wise.. like our water dept. (which is from Sandpoint)
appearance (but didn't like the cluttered junk cars) and
the housing availability.

Low bar was lack of sidewalks, lack of jobs in the town,
and cluttered yards.
High points was also Bonner County.. which was
Farmer's market and entertainment.
Low level was .. lack of support of downtown of our
town. Which really is non-existing.  Where can you
have a parade?  That there really isn't services and
products in the own.

Some of the wants was... low growth, lake access,
better park maintenance.  Concerns about storm
They did like the property taxes were low. and
housing was affordable.

What surprised the HOME TEAM, was there was no
mention of Coldwater Creek building, in any way..
not the closing, or what is coming in it.. NOTHING

Things of the future... were the Railroad Street
area, which belongs to the state of Idaho, not the
city.  Which has a small area of commercial zone. 
Also the concern of the congestion of that area,
the safety, and pedestrians as the growth on the
south side of Highway 200. As there is a area
that will house the museum and the Tractor Club
garage.  Along with the possible small stores, bar?
restaurant and etc.  What can be done? Lower
the highway's speed limit from 45 to lower?
Also was mention.. limited some highway access. Which
to me is questionable.  Anyone who has ever come to our
town.. knows there is only one way out. and that is a big
problem at 7:30am.. It is only by the grace of the drivers
coming from Hope, Clark Fork, Montana and north
of our town, that we get out on the highway. And if you
don't work.. you don't try to get out of town for an hour
during that time.  Even getting back in out own town
at 4pm can be tricky.

So last but not least, was the survey's wants (and the
people at the meetings) was more walking safe zones.
Clean up properties,  have more community programs.
They mention the school as one of the place.. (but I
guess no one told them that the school already does
have things there.  Church, rummage sales, games,
school events and etc.

The HOME TEAM mention more retail near the school
(don't know how that would happen.. who wants to
get rid of them homes that surround the school?)
More youth events.  Build up the business area of
Highway 200. filling up empty stores.
Have movie night at the Park (I presume in the
summer)  Have Easter egg hunts.  Have food
vendors, mobile one (guess they didn't know we
had one and he moved out because of lack of
They thought to revise the park, open it up, take
down the one fence.. or maybe have a dog park
there for off lease dogs..
To have a retail area at the corner of McGhee Road
and 2nd Avenue.  Open up 2nd Avenue and connect
to the rest of town.. (which the city has been working
Have train theme on the south side of the Highway
200 in the commercial zone.  To define our image.
Old logging town, Village and etc.
Build up and join the town, the Sandpoint Tech
Center.. which most of us didn't have clue what
that was.. until it was mention the Coldwater Creek area.
By have a call center and tech jobs there.
They named different business we could have, like the
coffee shop we use to have before the owner retired.

They mention getting grants for some of these.. but they
also mention the two terror's of any town residents... One
that have been voted down before..  L.I.D. AND U.R.D.
just the thought of a Urban Renewal District and mere
mention of L.I.D. sends our residents in to fits. 

One of the things I didn't see them or hear them  address,
at least I didn't hear it.. was the average income of the
resident of our town. I venture to say, that half of our
town is retirees.. We are a bedroom town.. meaning
people live and sleep here, but they work else where.
Not high income people.

Anyway.. it will be interesting to see where the town
takes all of this.  Because the general census is ... leave
our town alone.. we like it just the way it is.. well, maybe
a few things.. like a mom and pop restaurant...and bar-b
que in the park once a year.  and CLEAN UP THE YARDS.

And that is my humble understanding of what all the meetings

were. Like anything else.. it is all up to the beholder.   

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