Decorah residents have less than a week to weigh in on a number of community issues.
At Monday’s Decorah City Council meeting, City Manager Chad Bird updated the Council on the status of a city survey, which has been available for about a month and will be ending July 1.
“The responses coming in have been slowing down,” said Bird.
Bird said the city has received 416 responses, which equates to just over 5 percent of the city’s population.
“When you talk about mass marking and direct mailing, they say 3-5 percent is good. I think our response has been excellent,” said Bird.
The survey, which is available online at, questions citizens about a number of aspects with regard to life in Decorah.
Questions ask residents to comment on subjects ranging from their opinions about interactions with city employees to how they would feel about being taxed to pay for a new community recreation center.

Interesting comments
At Monday’s meeting, Bird supplied the Council with a sample list of citizen responses.
“There were some interesting comments,” said Council Member Jody Niess.
Bird said in response to the statement, “I am pleased with the overall direction the city is taking,” 68 percent of respondents replied favorably and 26 percent replied negatively.

Community center?
More than 61 percent of those responding said a community recreation and wellness center should remain a priority for Decorah. Thirty-nine percent of residents said they would support a property tax increase to construct the facility, while 54 percent said they would not.
Better than 64 percent of respondents said a proposed facility should have user fees sufficient to sustain operations, while just over 52 percent said the proposed facility should have minimal user fees and operations supported by tax dollars to make the center accessible to all residents.
The survey also includes more open-ended questions, such as
“Which aspects of Decorah are you most proud of?”
In addition to the business district and parks and trails, other answers include, “The older people who still contribute something every day,” “Openness of the community to all types of people,” “The sense of community,” “The sense of civic pride,” “Green and sustainability actions,” “People move here to raise well-rounded children” and more.

Common themes
Bird said he plans to break the survey results into different categories to review with different department heads.
“As we work through how we might review this at the Council level, I would propose we put together a summary of trends and common themes,” said Bird.
In addition to being available online, hard copies of the survey can be picked up at city hall or the Decorah Public Library.