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Roughly 50 Newport residents voiced their opinion on a recent performance standard survey, which asked what citizens thought of roads, emergency services, and overall appearance.

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Adopted in 2010 by the state Legislature, the survey collects data relating to a participating municipality’s performance measures. The survey, Executive Analyst Renee Helm said, was voluntary and, if completed, would give the city a return of $0.14 per capita in Local Government Aid.

However, she added, the turnout “was too low for the results to have any significant meaning.” The city still collects LGA money.

According to the results, 41 percent, or 20 people, said the overall quality of the services provided by the city were good, followed by 31 percent, or 15 people, who said fair.

About 36 percent of participants said the quality of the park and recreation programs and facilities were good, and 40 percent said the quality of the streets were good.

The highest category was fire protection, which was rated excellent by 43 percent of responders. In the safety category, roughly 44 percent of participants said they felt somewhat safe, followed by 40 percent who said they felt very safe.

“I think data like this, you talk about getting back to branding and marketing, as our safety rate is good, these type of things you can use to help resolve a message,” City Council member Tracy Rahm said in relation to public safety. “I think these types of statistics help sometimes.”

While the results showed mostly positive feedback, the city’s overall appearance took a beating. Roughly 41 percent, or 21 of responders, said the appearance of the city was fair, while 35 percent, 18 people, said it was poor.

Throughout the years, the city has taken on beautification efforts which include clearing land of buckthorn, constructing new parks, and updating the city code to include standards disallowing refuse, excessive lawn growth, equipment or other types of storage to accumulate on properties.

Mayor Tim Geraghty said at a recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Newport Transit Station that the construction will help begin “to transform Newport.”

Despite the survey only capturing a response rate of about 3.72 percent, it will add about $600 in LGA back into the city’s coffer.

Helm said she will be submit the results to the state in the spring.

To view the complete survey results, visit the city of Newport’s website. http://www.ci.newport.mn.us/

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Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
(651) 459-4629
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