Survey: Onalaska residents give city 4 out of 5 rating on services

Residents filled out survey in April

A recent survey in Onalaska suggests that residents are happy with the services provided to them on a daily basis.

This past April, more than 9,000 residents were asked to complete a survey about the city. Just under 13-percent returned the survey and gave the city a rating of four out of five when it comes to services that it provides.          

However, there is always room for improvement and one of the main suggestions would help one business owner as she continues to grow her cycling business.

Emily Vance has been in the bike business since she was 15-years-old.

“Of course started out bottom of the totem pole, crushing cardboard, cleaning toilets, doing basic things,” said Vance.

Now she is the proud owner of River Trail Cycles in Onalaska.

“Onalaska just seemed to be a great fit for our business, our close proximity to the bike trail was definitely key,” said Vance.

Vance couldn’t be happier with how business is going, but she knows there is always room for improvement.

Back in April, she filled out a survey for the City of Onalaska.

“I remember just some aspects as looking for what kind of connections does your business have with other local establishments,” said Vance.

The City of Onalaska is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan for 2015.

“Every policy that the city does and the majority of the decisions that we make have to be found within the plan,” said Katie Meyer, the planning and zoning inspector for the City of Onalaska.  “So what people have to say here is definitely going to have the opportunity to update, to remove objectives or goals that are no longer valid.”

Of the nearly 9,300 surveys sent out, a little more than 1,000 returned.

“Our highest was police and fire and they’re number two category was excellent so we are definitely doing very well in emergency response to the community,” said Meyer.

However, there are some other areas residents would like to see improvements.

“Having a public and healthy and active community was very well shown within the area, people love to be outdoors,” said Meyer.  “People want to see more trails, and they want bike lanes and bike paths and they want more connectivity.”

Something Vance would be approve of, after all, it is one of the reasons she moved her business to Onalaska in the first place.

“Been one of the best moves I have made in the eight and a half years of business,” said Vance.

The last survey the city of Onalaska conducted was back in 2003. However, the same three areas of concern showed up in the 2014 survey as well. Those areas include maintaining a good school system, retaining and expanding local employers and maintaining road conditions. The planning and zoning inspector says that just shows the city is already moving in the right direction.         

Click here for a link to the complete survey.