Take part in a new Niles

Published 8:33 pm Monday, April 4, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Off and on through April 20, volunteers will be talking with Niles residents and visitors during a dual purpose survey to help revitalize the downtown area. Residents will be receiving phone calls asking questions about how they rate the downtown area of Niles and what they would like to see there. They can also fill out questionaires to that effect.
Lisa Croteau, program manager for Niles Main Street, said the two methods of polling will encourage a high level of community participation and provide a representative sample of opinions.
The telephone numbers for the phone survey will be generated at random to ensure anonymity, so people can speak freely and share their honest opinions. Volunteers will call mainly in the evenings.
At the same time, volunteers stationed at various locations in the community will be conducting a customer intercept survey. Shoppers at those locations will be asked to pause for a few minutes to fill out a questionaire. Like the phone survey, the identity of those taking completing the forms will be kept anonymous. Downtown businesses will also be surveyed to assess their needs. An unmarked envelope will be provided with the questionaire so that anonymity is assured.
The goal is to acquire 200 phone surveys and 200 paper ones before the April 10 deadline. The information gathered will be forwarded to the Downtown Professional Network at that time.
Croteau said, "We're only asking people for about seven or eight minutes, but people can tell us a great deal in that short time, and, unlike a test, there is no right or wrong answer."
For more information or to volunteer, contact the Niles Main Street Office, (269) 687-4332.