A questionnaire concerning Bainbridge parks has been in the planning stages for almost two years. Now, it may be getting off the ground but perhaps in a different form.
Originally, it was an informational piece and questions were about general usage of the township parks with the goal of getting feedback for the township parks, park committee member Marty Sfiligoj told township trustees on April 22. This process of developing a questionnaire has been in the works for 18 months.
The most recent version contains information they wanted to get out to residents and it includes questions on what people want in the parks.
The questionnaire is intended to obtain general feedback, Mr. Sfiligoj said of the original form. “We wanted random feedback from users of the parks,” he said, adding that trustees had also wanted a question on a possible park levy.
Township parks include Settlers Park, River Road Park, Heritage Park and Centerville Mills Park.
Township Trustee Jeff Markley suggested last week that the committee will finalize a questionnaire and put it on Survey Monkey, an online survey, for people to fill out. Information from the questionnaire could be used for a possible grant application, he added.
“The hope is we will get a direction on what people want,” Mr. Markley said. Those wants will depend on who is answering the questions. Those who don’t have children will see different needs, and the same is true of those with young families, he said.
Feedback from residents will help trustees apply for grants, Mr. Markley said. The survey could ask questions like how often a playground is used and would residents be willing to pay if that’s the direction they want to go for a grant. “We need a positive questionnaire along those lines,” Mr. Markley said.
Also noted April 22 was that a public meeting might be held instead of a survey.
Bainbridge Fire Chief Lou Ann Metz said the fire department received three times more information on cards sent out to residents than from a survey online. The mailed cards dealt directly with each person, she said. She suggested supplementing a Survey Monkey survey with the cards.
Trustee Kristina O’Brien said the park committee has presented different drafts of the survey and discussed using the Auburn Township survey on its website as a guide. Auburn is also seeking a grant to build a pavilion into a park.
“It is now in Jeff’s hands and then it will be presented to trustees,” Mrs. O’Brien said.
Mr. Markley will spearhead the questionnaire work with the help of others, including Bainbridge Town Hall Secretary Linda Zimmerman, Leighanna Cawrse in the township service department and Bainbridge Service Director Jim Stanek as well as members of the Kenston Community Education groups.
“We hope to have it out sometime in June when the grant is available,” Mr. Markley said. “I want to solicit public feedback on specific improvements in the parks. It can be open ended but also include things we need immediately.
“If we are going for a grant, it has to be defined,” he said of the particular “want” such as a playground or walking paths. “Having it documented gives us credence when applying for grants,” he said. “It’s what reviewers look for and what they want to know.” It has largely been put together already by the park committee, Mr. Markley said. “They’ve done the job of putting it together and now there is an opportunity for us to finalize it.”
The survey could be done this spring or in the fall after people have used the parks over the summer, he said.
No decision has been made yet on how it will be disseminated to residents. It could be electronic or by mail, which is more expensive, he said.