Festival Survey Costs City $15K

Jan Spreeman, left, accepts the city’s Human Rights Award from City Councilman Mike Polehna, right, during Tuesday’s City Council meeting as Don Hovland looks on. Jan Spreeman was honored for his work at teaching social studies at Stillwater Junior and Senior high schools.

Jan Spreeman, Left accepts the city’s Human Rights Award from City Councilman Mike Polehna, right, during Tuesday’s City Council meeting as Don Hovland looks on. Spreeman was honored for his work at teaching social studies at Stillwater Junior and Senior high schools.

As the weekend without Lumberjack Days nears, the Stillwater City Council decided Tuesday to spend $15,150 on a survey to determine what, if any, future city summer festival will look like.

The council has six objectives it wants out of the survey before moving forward, according to Bill Turnblad, Stillwater’s community development director. They include

 

  • What the community’s preferences are for a summer festival.
  • The maximum acceptable impact of events on neighborhoods, businesses and city resources.
  • Determine the maximum number of events in a year.
  • Help the council identify the events residents would like.
  • Help the council devise an event policy

The four-page survey will go to 2,000 people, about 20 percent of the population. Readex officials told the council 2,000 people is the smallest possible sample size to create a valid statistical reading. The list includes households, businesses, business owners and property owners.

“It’s a good solid representation of the population with only a three to five percent margin of error,” Turnblad said.

Those taking the survey will be selected randomly and geographically. Although it covers 20 percent of the population, more surveys will be concentrated in the two business areas of Stillwater.

The council chose to do the random survey instead of allowing comments to be submitted.

“The (submit comments) option can be brought back,” Turnblad said, “But we chose to do the survey because we’ll get folks for and against the festival and anyone who is neutral on the topic as well. If comments were offered we’d be concerned that only the most opinionated people on the subject would give us feedback.”

The survey will be funded out of the lodging tax.

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