With a focus on maintaining Boulder City’s close-knit community and offering preferred improvements, we are always eager to hear from engaged Boulder City residents. Because of this, I encourage staff to find ways to keep residents involved and active in providing feedback. In the past two years, we’ve made greater use of surveys and suggestion forms to hear what the Boulder City residents would like to experience. Surveys have assisted in many ways, such as confirming the allocation of funds received, gaining a grassy dog park after several years of consideration, and deciding if short-term rentals are appropriate for the city.
One of my first efforts as city manager was determining how to invest $21.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds received in 2021-2022. Wanting to gain feedback from our residents, the city staff developed an online survey that received more than 230 responses. Additionally, there was an interactive town hall discussion on May 17, 2022 to gain public feedback. Surveys, emails, and input from the meeting showed residents were highly concerned about infrastructure and public safety. Based on this, over 50% of the funding was set aside for infrastructure involving water and wastewater projects for greater sustainability. Nearly 15% of the budget went toward public safety and court projects.
Funding has also assisted local organizations such as Emergency Aid of Boulder City, the Senior Center, Lend a Hand, and a community liaison partnership with Boulder City Hospital. Funding occurred for improvements in City Hall for better compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, for signage and seating in parks, and for building additional pickleball courts.
Outside of the ARPA funds, another primary goal for residents was to have a grassy dog park. The city developed a survey related to this, and nearly 450 people responded. Feedback showed that 68.2% of respondents supported a new off-leash fenced dog park. Their top priorities included: grass, cleanliness and maintenance, shaded areas, and water fountains for people and pets. Considering this, Boulder City’s Dog Park opened on Aug. 16. The northeast corner of Veterans’ Memorial Park was repurposed and rejuvenated by Boulder City’s Animal Control staff, the Public Works Department, the Parks and Recreation Department, Urban Jungle, and many others. The enclosures are spacious and green, and no new grass was needed because of this location. (The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset; closed Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon for cleaning. Dogs must be vaccinated and licensed. The complete list of dog park rules is on the city website at www.bcnv.org/dogpark.)
The city recently requested additional feedback regarding short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. At the City Council’s direction, staff opened a survey to assess public sentiment. The survey resulted in more than 700 responses, with residents, business owners, and non-residents eligible to complete the survey. It found that most people who responded have stayed in a short-term rental. They were split almost 50/50 on whether Boulder City should allow them. However, with Boulder City residents’ responses, those opposed had a three percent edge over those who supported short-term rentals. In September, the City Council voted to continue the prohibition of short-term rentals.
Currently, the city has a survey seeking input on spending for Capital Improvement projects. These projects are new, or an upgrade to an existing asset, not maintenance-related, and the cost must exceed $25,000. Let us know if there is a long-term project you would like the city to consider!
Visit www.bcnv.org/CIP to learn more.
Surveys continue to allow residents to share their feedback and voice their preferences. Understanding what the majority expects to enhance Boulder City is crucial and allows these improvements to occur. Especially if you cannot attend City Hall meetings or write letters to council members, you can still share your preferences through our surveys. While the surveys are not scientific, they do offer valid results, as there are ways staff can verify results through the survey program to ensure the responses aren’t duplicated. These concise surveys allow residents to have their voices heard without much time and effort.
With an emphasis on achieving customer service excellence throughout the organization, we are also gaining feedback through a new feedback form asking, “How did we do?” If you had an exceptional experience or we need to improve a customer service interaction with the city, please visit bcnv.org/feedback. You will find this survey link on city employee email signatures and a QR code at every counter interfacing with residents at city facilities. Your responses will help our efforts to deliver customer service excellence in all services that we provide to the community.