Elko New Market Continues to Rank Highly for Quality of Life and City Services

When the Elko New Market City Council was recently presented with the final report of the Community Survey conducted in 2018, it found that 98% of residents rate the Quality of Life excellent/good, according to The Morris Leatherman Company, the firm that conducted the study. As a result, the City continues to be ranked in the top 10% of Greater Metropolitan Area suburban and exurban communities for quality life.  Among exurban communities, Elko New Market’s “excellent rating” was at the top of the range. Housing, as well as the quiet and peaceful nature and small town feel are key factors in why people move and enjoy living in this small, but growing community in the south metro.

The survey also found that Elko New Market continued to rank highly in nearly every City service. In the survey, 94% of respondents ranked their contact with City Hall as positive, either excellent/good. This places Elko New Market in the top 10% when compared to other metro area cities. City services continued to be ranked highly by residents. Looking at individual City services, two stood out as “Best Practices” in the Metro area - street repair/maintenance and snowplowing. Four other service areas were in the top 10% in comparison to all Metro area communities - police protection, fire protection, parks maintenance, and recreation programs.

Some of the most notable areas of City services were Community Events, Recreational Programming and Police. For the City’s Community Events, the satisfaction rate is a perfect 100%. When combining use and rating of Community Events be residents, Elko New Market is ranked at the top in the Greater Metropolitan Area. While most of the City’s recreational programs have only been established in the last 8 years, participants have a 99% satisfaction rate. In fact, when combining the use and rating of recreational programs, Elko New Market places among the top five communities in the Greater Metropolitan Area. The Police Department also received an impressive 98% favorable rating, an increase of 4% from the 2015 Survey.

The Survey also found that Elko New Market residents find value for their property taxes. When property taxes are weighed against the quality of city services, 78% rate the value as “excellent” or “good,” a six percent increase in three years.  This rating continues to rank Elko New Market within the top 10% of Greater Metropolitan Area suburban and exurban communities. Among exurban communities, it places Elko New Market at the top over the past five years. City Administrator Thomas Terry commented, “It sounds cliched, but we have done more with less using a strong value based approach to delivering services. And, there is always room for improvement. The survey demonstrates that we are continuing to move in the right direction.”

Administrator Terry noted that based on the most recent comparative data available from the Minnesota Office of the State Auditor (fiscal year 2016), Elko New Market ranks in the bottom fifth of per capita spending in Minnesota amongst cities with populations over 2,500.

The study contained the results of telephone surveys conducted with 250 randomly selected residents in the City of Elko New Market. The survey consisted of sixty-five (65) questions regarding the quality of life in the community and City services with special focus on public safety, water, library hours, parks & recreation, City Hall and the City’s website. These results were cross-tabulated with residential demographics. The survey was the third such survey conducted by the City of Elko New Market. The first two studies were conducted in 2012 and 2015.

When asked about the positive results of the study, Mayor Bob Crawford commented, “Of course, I was pleased with the findings, but not surprised.” He continued, “I believe that these results are due, in large part, to our Community Oriented Government Philosophy, our visioning and goal setting, as well as the efforts of our dedicated staff to implement.”  The City annually engages in a vision and goal setting process and adopted a Community Oriented Local Government Philosophy in 2010, which is comprised of five key components – Community Involvement, Organizational Improvements, Problem Solving, Performance Measurement and Professionalism.

Click here to view the 2018 Community Survey Summary. The City’s Vision Statement, 5-Year Priority Goals and Community Oriented Local Government Philosophy can be found on the City’s website at https://www.ci.enm.mn.us/aboutelkonewmarket.