Survey: Brooklyn Park Residents Support Water Softening, Chicken-Keeping
According to a survey, the majority of Brooklyn Park residents support chicken-keeping and city water softening.
The city of Brooklyn Park hired a third-party firm, the Morris Leatherman Company, to conduct the survey by telephone. Interviews were conducted between Sept. 21 and Oct. 16.
A pool of 800 residents were randomly selected to respond to the survey.
According to Peter Leatherman, chief executive officer with the Morris Leatherman Company, the statistically-significant survey has a plus or minus 3.5 percent margin of error.
Chickens and Water Softening
The survey took the pulse of city residents regarding a variety of issues, including the potential for a city-owned water softening-facility.
Brooklyn Park treats, but does not soften water before it arrives at homes.
Of the residents surveyed, 81 percent said they would support adding a water softening process to the city’s water treatment facility.
As a follow up, the survey asked residents how much they would be willing to pay for water softening. The majority would be willing to pay about $15 per month for the service.
“I don’t know what that generates, but it’s probably not enough [to fund water softening] would be my guess,” Leatherman said. “It’s always had high support.”
Meanwhile, the survey asked residents questions about residential chicken=keeping — an often discussed issue in Brooklyn Park in recent years.
In August, the council tabled a vote on a residential chicken keeping ordinance.
Support for chicken-keeping is strong in the newest survey data.
About 68 percent of respondents said they would support chicken-keeping.
Doubts on Survey
Brooklyn Park City Council Members Boyd Morson and Maria Tran both cast doubt on aspects of the survey.
“I’m not one that strongly believes in your survey or surveys period because it does not include everybody,” Morson said. “I don’t agree with that process.”
Leatherman said it would cost the city approximately $2.4 million to survey every eligible voter.
Morson also questioned why the city’s youngest voting residents like 18-year-olds without a “vested interest” would be included in survey results.
“So if this was an 18-year-old student in high school and you surveyed that particular person … that doesn’t have an vested interested within our particular community — that’s paying taxes, that’s paying for water or sewer or policing or fire or any of those types of things, you took them to lend their perspective,” Morson said.
Brooklyn Park City Council Member Nichole Klonowski apologized to Leatherman for Morson’s comments, characterizing them as “disrespectful” and “rude.”
Tran said that renters shouldn’t be included in survey results related to chicken-keeping.
“I don’t think the question for chickens applied here is realistic,” she said. “Renters live in apartments — they are not to raise chickens.”
Tran also argued that renters are less likely to stay in the community than homeowners.
Mayor Hollies Winston said all eligible voters should be eligible for the survey.
“Even on these key issues of the day, like chickens, I want to make sure that I am hearing from the renter’s perspective in terms of chickens,” he said. “I think it’s incredibly important that we don’t skew the data and begin to cater to folks.”
He said that surveys are not the only way for voters or residents to make their voices heard.
Tran and Winston appear to have a verbal disagreement during the survey discussion. The microphone audio cut out or was shut off during this portion of the meeting.
Brooklyn Park City Council Member XP Lee asked the council to consider revisiting the chicken-keeping ordinance.