More Street Improvement Ranks High With Survey Respondents

The Minden Economic Development Department and the Minden Chamber of Commerce gathered responses to a recent Minden Community Survey in April 2010 from 195 individuals creating a 7% survey response rating.  The survey’s ten questions were accessible by e-mail, the Chamber website and the Chamber’s and City of Minden’s Facebook pages.  The questions were designed to assess Minden’s quality of life, community perception and desired community amenities.
Results from the survey showed the top three amenities or services the community would like to see in Minden.  Fifty-one percent of the respondents were in favor of fast food chain, followed closely by a fitness center, and increased retail shopping.  Other notable amenities desired by the community were a restaurant, a hotel and a community center.
In regards to city services, 72% of the respondents indicated that they would like to see more improvements made to the streets.  Other areas receiving a large response for improvement were the drinking water system and sidewalks.  
When asked about the perception of Minden’s tourist attractions, 56.1% respondents gave the Minden Opera House an “Excellent” rating and 34.9% rated it a “Good.”   In the last six months, 65.2% of the respondents had visited the Minden Opera House.
Over half of the respondents, 64.6%, rated Pioneer Village’s perception as “Poor” or “Fair,” while 35.4% rated it “Good” or “Excellent.”   Within the last five years, 61.6% of the respondents had visited Pioneer Village.  
When asked about the perception of the Kearney County Museum.  Approximately 77% of the respondents gave the Kearney County Museum a “Fair” or “Good” rating.  Almost half of the respondents, 48.6%, said that they had never visited the Kearney County Museum.   Several respondents commented that they had never heard of the museum or knew of its whereabouts.  
When asked how respondents would be willing to help fund projects, 46.7% of the respondents said that they would volunteer their time to make their community more attractive to visitors.  Forty-one percent said that they would favor a 0.5% sales tax increase to go toward community development projects.  16.3% showed an interest in investing in renovations/remodeling projects at tourist’s attractions, while 11.4% were interested in investing in a hotel.
In regards to community attractiveness, 51% of the respondents would like to see the entry corridors visually improved.  44% would like to see additional retail stores recruited and 39.6% would like to see the tourist attractions improved.  Other items of community attractiveness were additional new single-family housing and a high school remodeling project.
With social media playing an important role in today’s communication,, the City of Minden’s website showed that 66.7% of the respondents had visited the site, while 63.4% of the respondents had visited the city’s Facebook page.   The Chamber of Commerce’s website showed that 56.9% of the respondents had visited the site, while 49.7% of the respondents had visited the Chamber’s Facebook page.  For job opportunities, 30.1% had visited and 6.5% had visited Minden Jobs on Twitter.  
The community would like to see a wide variety of events organized.  64.8% of the respondents would like to see Central Community College classes in Minden.  Respondents also showed an interest for an arts and crafts show, a car show, and a Young Professionals Group.   Rounding out the list was a Job Fair, computer workshops, a health fair and business education classes.
Almost 35%, the largest percentage of respondents taking the survey, were of the age group 35-49.  Following closely behind this age group was the 50-65 age group showing a 32.4% response.  The 24-34 age group was next to respond with a 19.2% response and the 19-24 age group with a 5.5% response.  Showing the least response was the 18 and under age group and the 66+ age group with showings of 4.4% and 3.8% respectfully.
“We found these results very interesting and the results show us where the pulse of the community lies,” said Marcy Brandt, Minden Chamber Director.  
Minden Economic Development Director Lisa Karnatz stated, “The Chamber of Commerce and the City of Minden will be using the results from this survey to analyze the community’s desires and to provide direction for future and pending projects.”

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