186 people responded to the Sully Community questionnaire. The Sully Betterment Committee was thrilled with this level of participation and thanks everyone who submitted responses. The questionnaire provided people an opportunity to communicate their opinions and priorities regarding the services and needs for the community of Sully. Persons living in AND outside the community were encouraged to respond. A major number of responses, 159 persons (85%), were residents of Sully. The responder ages ranged from 18 to 76+ with each age bracket having 10 or more persons. Ages 46 to 65 represented the largest group of responders at 76 (41%). The group that represents the future of our community (ages 18-45), there were a total of 56 (30%) participants. While this is a good number, the committee had hoped to hear from a larger number.

The questionnaire’s responses are considered public information.  A report showing the response totals for each question and the additional comments is available upon request from the Sully city clerk at the Sully Community Center.  The report can also be viewed through the City of Sully website Report Link.  All comments submitted on the questionnaire are included in the report, but in some cases a person’s name or address has been omitted.

The questionnaire asked for responses in 3 major sections with an “additional comments” opportunity for each.  The sections were Community Services, Community Improvements, and Community Activities.  What follows is a summary of each section’s responses.

Community Services

  • City officials should remain diligent in their efforts and enforcement  of ordinances to clean-up properties and remove un-used vehicles.   There were 10 specific locations identified for the city to review.
  • Adding stop signs had mixed reviews, but it also had the highest number of comments regarding specific intersections that need a stop sign.  10th Ave was the number one area mentioned for stop signs.  People not stopping at stop signs was another comment listed frequently.
  • The establishment of a Sully Community Foundation is something that 58% of the responders believe is needed.  If you assme that ½ of the no opinion responders would agree, it brings the percentage to 75%.  So, this is something that should be looked into further.
  • People’s opinions of the city’s services were middle of the road. There were exceptions.o    Fire Protection / Ambulance Service and the Library rated Very Good in their scores. o    Law Enforcement is an area that people believe some attention is needed.  36% say it is Poor to Very Poor.  There were several comments that also expressed displeasure.
  • 59 (32%) participants took the opportunity to submit additional comments that identified items that need to be fixed and offered a wide range of opinions and suggestions for city officials to review and consider.

Community Improvements

  • Grocery Store, a Walking/Biking Trail, and the Independent or Assisted Living Units for Seniors were the top ranked community improvements.  These four were closely followed by New Playground Equipment in the Central Park and access to a Community Wide Wireless Network.
  • The improvements considered “not important” were city-wide curb and gutter, swimming pool, tennis courts, movie theater, and a bakery.  Each of these had 40+% of the responders who ranked them as “not important”.
  • Adding a bike trail between Sully and Lynnville was noted several times as a separate comment, which strengthens the importance to consider a walking/biking trail.
  • Adding more sidewalks was a comment listed multiple times.
  • Swimming pool was not considered important by a high number of responders.  However, “splash pool” was a comment given multiple times as an alternative to consider.

Community Activities

  • Having a Christmas Celebration is the number one activity the responder believe the community must do.  This would imply that a replacement for the  Lighted Truck Parade must be found.
  • There wasn’t  any one specific activity that was head and shoulders above the others in their “Must Do” responses.  It is believed this is the result of the wide range in responder ages.  This should also make it possible for a local club or organization to do a fund raiser with one of more of these activities and be successful.
  • It appears that 2-3 of the activities could be combined and satisfy a large number of responders.  An example would be the Ice Cream Social combined with the Vintage Auto Show.
  • The Garden Tour and Fly-In acitivities had a high number of favorable responses and should be investigated further.
  • The “activities” comments provided some additional activities that should be considered.  It was hoped that there would have been a higher number of activity ideas identified.

What is the next step?  The questionnaire fulfilled the objective it was intended to do, which was to get feedback (positive and negative) from the people of the community.  It is critical that the people who participated in the questionnaire see action(s) on the feedback they provided.  At the June regular meeting of the Sully City Council, the Sully Betterment Committee will give a report on the questionnaire and how its information will be used.  The question, who will identify the projects to be worked on and who will participate on the project will also be discussed.  The following will be used for discussion items.

Representatives from the Sully City Council, Sully Betterment Committee, and Lynnville-Sully Community School will have the responsibility to identify and prioritize “maintenance” and “major” projects to be worked on.  The “maintenance” type projects can be completed fairly quickly and will typically only involve city council and city staff.  The “major” projects will take longer and need a broader group of people to be involved.  The plan would be to identify 3-5 “major” projects, then hold a town meeting in July where all residents of the community will be urged to attend.

At the town meeting, a project committee will be created for each project.  The project committee would be responsible for defining the project’s scope and timeline, researching requirements, identifying funding sources, getting project approval, and completing implementation.  The committee will be made up of people from the community, Sully City Council, Sully Betterment Committee, and the Lynnville-Sully Community School.  Community resident participation is a MUST.  If a project cannot get this, it will be tabled.

Each month, the Hometown Press, the City of Sully website (www.sullyia.com), and monthly email newsletter will be used to report the status and progress of the “maintenance” and “major” projects.

The above is but one way of getting started on the task of making continued improvements to our community.  You are strongly encouraged to contact a member of the Sully City Council or Sully Betterment Committee with any questions or suggestions.  Sully Betterment Committee members are Arie Scholten, Gordon Yarrington, Lori Zylstra, Shane Ehresman, Jennifer Kocour, Rod Jansen, Lejon Ladwig, Chad Fikse, Margaret Vander Weerdt, Craig Hamilton, and Teryl Ver Ploeg.

Click here to review the April 2012 Questionnaire Results