A plan to gather public input on Stoughton’s downtown is expanding into a widely distributed market survey.
The results of that survey and a public forum set for Oct. 1 will be used to help the city’s Downtown Revitalization Subcommittee make recommendations for investment into the downtown area.
The subcommittee, part of the city’s Redevelopment Authority, completed a focus group and interviews with downtown business owners, local officials and event organizers over the summer. The second phase of its input plan involves an online survey of downtown shopping and dining preferences, which closes Sept. 30, and the forum.
The survey has been active online since Aug. 4, and the subcommittee began circulating physical copies over the past weekend. It has 18 questions, and subcommittee chair Denise Duranczyk said it takes about 10 minutes to complete.
The subcommittee is looking to discover what people want most out of the downtown area. An investment plan will be tailored to the interests of the community, and future stores and restaurants will reflect this, she said.
Duranczyk said the committee hopes to get the opinions of those who use downtown and those who don’t.
“We also are trying to get people who live outside of Stoughton, too, so that we know what will bring them to the downtown,” she said.
The online survey is the preferred method, since the survey website will automatically compile all of the feedback, Duranczyk said. The subcommittee has distributed over 2,000 postcards to area businesses and public spaces in an effort to get the word out about the survey.
Go to tinyurl.com/stoughtonsurvey to participate in the online survey.
For those who would prefer a paper copy, surveys are available for pickup at City Hall, 207 S. Forrest St., the senior center, 248 W. Main St., and the library, 304 S. Fourth St. Surveys must be returned to dropboxes at either of those three locations by the Sept. 30 deadline.
The next phase of gathering market feedback will be in the form of a public meeting, which will take place at the Lageret, 515 E. Main St., on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
There will be five “stations” for providing input, including a map of downtown for voting on favorite areas and a wall of photos where attendees can express their “visual preferences” for potential businesses, restaurants and parks.
Madison-based civil engineering company Ayres Associates will combine input from the meeting with feedback from the surveys, focus groups and interviews and will present the information to the subcommittee. The subcommittee will then review all of the public input, decide which actions should be prioritized and will provide further recommendations to Ayers.