Yakima readies 2013 citizen survey

Yakima readies 2013 citizen survey
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima spent thousands of dollars last year to pick your brain on different city issues in a citizen survey and KIMA learned another one is on the way.

"I've definitely noticed some pick up in business," said Monika Motiu.

Motiu rents space to downtown businesses.

"This is one of the spots I'm currently showing," said Motiu.

Filling two empty storefronts has been an uphill battle but she says the changes to downtown parking sparked interest.

"I thought maybe it was the weather," Matiu said. "But, I think it's really due to the parking. A lot of people see that as a benefit now."

Your responses to last year's citizen survey brought those parking changes; meters were yanked and free parking expanded.

"It's played an absolute, integral role in the council developing a strategic plan followed by a business plan," said Yakima Spokesperson Randy Beehler.

The survey also led Yakima to create the North First Street Task Force, experiment with a recycling program and improve security at the Greenway.

Yakima spent more than $30,000 to send three-thousand surveys last year.

About a quarter filled out the forms, which means Yakima paid almost 40 dollars for every response.

"Is it worth it still?" KIMA asked.

"It's absolutely worth it," Beehler said. "The value we've gotten over the last year in having been able to take that feedback and build it directly into programs and initiatives. That pays for it in itself."

Yakima won't spend as much this time, but it will send the surveys earlier.

This year's results will be used to gauge progress and help make budgeting decisions.

"We weren't able to fully incorporate the results into building the budget for this year. We want to do that for next year," said Beehler.

Monika likes what's happening.

"If this is the change we've seen so far, I'm looking forward to seeing what's in the future," Matiu said.

Yakima city leaders say you can expect to see more surveys for years to come.

The new surveys will be sent next month. Yakima plans to drop 1,200 in the mail this time as opposed to 3,000 last year.

The city expects responses back by June.




The new surveys will be sent next month.
Yakima plans to drop 12-hundred in the mail this time as opposed to three-thousand last year.
The city expects responses back by June.