Snoqualmie approves citizen survey to get opinions on YMCA expansion project

A survey will be conducted to collect opinions on the community center expansion project.

The Snoqualmie City Council debated the validity of surveys following feedback for the potential expansion of a community center.

The council was discussing the community center at Snoqualmie Ridge on June 24.

The city of Snoqualmie has proposed a $12.5 million expansion for the YMCA on the Ridge. The city owns the building and proposed the project to meet a growing need in the Valley foraquatics-based recreation.

The city council approved a memorandum of understand for the firm EMC Research to conduct a survey of citizens featuring several questions regarding the possible community center aquatics facility. The scope of the project will cover 300, 12-minute interviews with a random sample of registered voters in the city. the cost to the city for the survey is $23,200.

The public comment at the meeting was uniformly against the survey. Concerns centered around the total sample size of 300 citizens being too small, the possibility of bias influencing the list of citizens to interview and the quality of the questions.

In discussion, councilmembers Sean Sundwall and Matt Laase also voiced concern regarding the sample size. Laase said he was against the proposal and suggested putting the community center expansion project to registered voters (about 2,000 people) in the general election.

“To put the project on the ballot this November is approximately the same cost to do this survey,” Laase added.

Councilmember Katherine Ross asked what the justification for interviewing only 300 people was. In response, Councilmember Jim Mayhew said EMC research is a data analytics firm that has worked with the city in the past, and the company decided on a 300-person sample because it produces a 95-percent confidence level with a plus or minus 5-percent margin of error.

City administrator Bob Larson also vouched for the validity of EMC Research’s methods, and noted the city has worked with the company twice in previous years.

Sundwall added that the survey itself is not a decision, and it is not the only factor the ultimate decision will be based on. The survey also does not preclude the option of bringing the project forward to a vote.

Fire chief Mark Correira said EMC Research will design the questions so they are statistically valid. EMC will also not let the city influence the formation or design of the questions.

Councilmember Peggy Shepard was not supportive of the study and cited her experience working at Microsoft in market research where she claimed expensive studies produced questionable results.

The memorandum of understanding for the survey was approved in a 3-2 vote with councilmembers Laase and Shepard dissenting. Councilmembers Bob Jeans and Bryan Holloway were not in attendance.

More in News

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat

The former Bellevue mayor is essentially running unopposed.

Michael Beard
Twelve-year incumbent up against Bellevue firefighter in fire commissioner race

Frazier and Beard are on the ballot for Fire District 45 seat.

Courtesy photos
                                From left, Tracey Yeager Blackburn and Tim Harris compete for Carnation City Council Position 3 in the General Election.
Carnation candidates vying for seat

Harris and Yeager Blackburn both hope for city council Position 3.

Natalie DeFord/Staff photo
                                A group tours the facilities at Allegion (Technical Glass Products) during the company’s Manufacturing Day event. From left, Snoqualmie city administrator Bob Larson, Casey Duff from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office, production manager Dave Jensen, Mount Si High School senior Dylan Van Vleet, Mount Si teacher Gregg Meyers.
Local students take Manufacturing Day tour

Panel discussed life in a manufacturing career.

Photo courtesy of King County Executive Office
                                King County Executive Dow Constantine announces the new Creative Economy Initiative in September.
New Creative Economy initiative will promote film production in King County

KC Executive Dow Constantine announced it at Twede’s Cafe in North Bend.

Armstrong and Ross in the race for Snoqualmie City Council Pos. 2

Candidates touch on growth and transparency.

Photos courtesy of candidates
                                Incumbent Eric Hollis and Brandon Bothwell are running for a spot on Fire District 27.
Candidates for Fire District 27 talk on the failed merger

Incumbent Eric Hollis and candidate Brandon Bothwell seek Pos. 2.

Klahn and Correira seek Si View Metropolitan Park District Position 2

Commissioner candidates answer Record’s questionnaire.

Most Read