St. Louis County seeks public input in a survey to be mailed out within the next week.

The survey will include questions about the quality of life in St. Louis County, customer service interactions with the county, preferences for communication and information services and other topics. Information collected in the survey will help guide decisions on budgets and policy. A statement the county released on Friday cited results from past surveys that led the county to increase services in public safety and care for the vulnerable, as well as a website redesign and  investments in its gravel road improvement program.

Approximately 2,800 County residents selected at random will receive a survey packet in the mail. Results of the survey, which are considered statistically valid, will be shared by early summer and will be taken into consideration by staff and commissioners as they work on the 2023 budget and long range plans.

"We encourage our citizens, if you are one of the randomly selected households to receive this survey, please fill it out," said County Board Chair Paul McDonald in the statement. "The opinions and information we gain from this survey has helped reaffirm some decisions and in other instances has been the rationale to redirect resources."

In addition to this scientific survey, the county will later offer an online survey that any citizen can complete. Those answers will be kept separate from the official survey, but will still be reviewed and taken into consideration.

St. Louis County partnered with four other counties – Dakota, Olmsted, Scott and Washington – to produce the survey, which is being conducted by Polco/National Research Center, Inc. The County has conducted similar surveys every two to three years since 2007, most recently in 2019.