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Paynesville Press - June 26, 2002

Township conducts opinion survey

By Michael Jacobson

Property owners in Paynesville Township were surveyed on five topics this spring by their board of supervisors. Over 800 surveys were sent to property owners in the township, and around 550 were returned.

Supervisor Pat Meagher, who pledged to survey the township while campaigning in March, was pleased with the response. "A lot of people," he explained, "were just happy that somebody asked them what they thought."

Questions on the survey, with the tabulated responses for each, were:

(1) Are you in favor of the proposed Paynesville Regional Airport? (62 percent were against it and 35 percent were in favor.)

(2) Are you in favor of a community swimming pool? (50 percent were in favor and 47 percent were against.)

(3) If you have cable TV service available, are you interested in high-speed Internet access? (25 percent don't have cable service. Of those that do, 31 percent would like it; 46 percent didn't care.)

(4) If you have garbage pickup, are you satisfied with the service they provide? (61 percent liked the service; six percent did not.)

(5) Are you in favor of the proposed Lake Koronis Trail? (70 percent were in favor and 25 percent were not.)

Respondents had a chance to write comments and opinions about each topic and about the township in general. Here is a sampling of the comments:

·"If they can afford an airplane, let them pay for the airport. Not enough people will use the airport. And why should people be forced to give up their land?"
·"Users pay for it."
·"Don't understand who will use it. How does it benefit the area?"
·"All the work going into the airport must be based on some study or reasoning. I wish someone would explain it to me."
·"Serves maybe one percent of the population."
·"Location is bad."
·"Aiport, yes. Location, no."
·"Very poor location. Could be put towards something which would benefit more people."
·"Where would be the return on this investment?"
·"I don't feel the need is great enough, and I fly at least 30+ times per year."
·"Be progressive. Don't stagnate."
·"Not fully convinced flying over school is a good idea, especially if the plan prohibits future school growth, but we should take advantage of the airport efforts to make our town progressive."
·"Common sense indicates the school and airport are too close together."
·"No airport."
·"An airport is essential, if we don't want the community to die a slow death."
·Airport is too close to ones in Willmar and St. Cloud.
·"Poor public policy. Lots of $ to benefit very few. Doubt any economic benefit which would cancel out the cost to town and township."
·"Location near school (especially) and business is poor ­ a safety risk."
·"We expect this is a done deal."
·"I think we could use the money a better way."
·"This will benefit only a small percentage of the people. The few that want an airport for their own personal pleasure should pay for it themselves."
·"It would be a mistake not to proceed with the proposed plan."
·"Great for economic development."
·"I think the 'nos' are forgetting about all of us 'lake people' who pay lots of taxes. We could use the airport. We don't use the school, the city buildings, etc, but we could use an airport."
·Not following the proposed plan "would be a step backward after having one for 53 years."
·Vote on airport, swimming pool.
·"It would be nice if it was in another location, but if it has to be in its current location, then it has to be."
·Don't understand appointments to airport commission. Why not listen to people with aviation experience?
·"Do it before it costs more."
·"Let the ten airport owners build it themselves."
·Trusts airport commission to do what's best.
·"Airport will happen with or without Paynesville Township."
·"Let's move on."

Swimming Pool
·"More will use pool than an airport."
·"I think both the airport and the pool are only for a small portion of the population."
·"Costly. We have a good lake."
·"We don't need a pool, especially if the lake would be kept clean and free from surrounding homes 'crap'."
·"I feel this would be beneficial to the community and cheaper than reviving Lake Koronis to a comfortable swimming level."
·"Only if it is enclosed."
·"What will a pool do for progress?"
·"Lake Koronis seems to be a big enough pool."
·"We love the area. The more there's to do, the better."
·Pool should be outdoor, not aquatic park.
·"Clean up lake first."
·"This survey is quite worthless without costs, estimates, time frames, etc."
·Indoor only, at school.
·"God gave us two pools: Rice and Koronis."
·"This should have been done long before now, but the sooner the better."
·"I believe (it) would benefit both young and old. Would keep people here in our community instead of going elsewhere."
·Embarrassing to bus kids out of town for swimming lessons.
·"Only if it is an indoor pool. This is Minnesota; we can swim outdoors two and a half months out of 12."

High-speed Internet
·Needed badly.

Garbage Service
·"Years of great service."
·Should not make it mandatory.

Lake Koronis Trail
·"Yes! Yes! Yes! This is a great addition to our area."
·"I think this would be excellent, especially with the beautiful lake we have here."
·"I feel it would be mainly used by lake residents."
·"This should be funded by the lakeshore owners primarily."
·Cost should be born by users.
·"Many drivers go way too fast around the lake. This would add more safety and be great for relaxation."
·"The original proposal for the trail is not at all what is now happening. We basically have a paved shoulder, not a trail."
·"Only if it is done properly. Just widening the roads is not a safe answer to the problem."
·"Keep the walkers off the road."
·"Yes, if it is done right, not like on Old Lake Road."
·"As long as it's okay with property owners."
·Should be paid by donations, not taxpayers.
·Why did the township hire a consultant?
·Beach to town, yes. Around lake, don't know.
·"Do you think city people would like a trail across their property?"
·"The sooner that the trail gets built the happier I will be. There are so many people biking and hiking on the south shore and not all the traffic is observant of pedestrians and bikers. A trail is a safety issue."
·"I'm in favor of the concept, but have concern about the affect to property and safety."
·"The trail will be used by many more people than the residents that live on the lake, and the airport will be used by many more people than the residents that have airplanes."

General Comments
·Increase township board to five members.
·Adding treasurer and clerk as voting board members would "better represent the diversity of the township."
·"All the projects are wonderful, but where is the money coming from?"
·"How much taxes do you want us to pay?"
·Irresponsible to raise taxes for nonessentials.
·Reevaluate the township's charity spending.
·"I wonder why we are rezoning ag land for residential. How big do we want to become?"
·"Keep up the Koronis Civic Ice Arena. We love to skate. Feel it is great for the community."
·Township is correct to pay off arena debt.
·"Lake Koronis is such an asset to your community. There should be much concern about the water quality."
·Restaurant needed on lake.
·"I want to thank all township board members for all of the time spent on township business."
·Survey "should have been done a long time ago."
·"This survey should not have been needed if our supervisors would just do what they know is best for our community as a whole."
·"Thank you for taking the time to send a survey!"

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