Champaign census planned for 2007

By Patrick Wade

The U.S. Census Bureau will conduct a special census in Champaign in January 2007 as a result of new residential development increasing the city’s population by an estimated 5,400.

According to a press release by the city, an official population count will allow Champaign to receive a larger portion of state motor fuel and income taxes. Erik Kotewa, Champaign Census Bureau Liaison, said that he expects the increase in revenue to the city to be over $400,000. If the estimates are accurate, however, the city could receive more than $600,000. The census will not result in an increase in city taxes.

Kotewa said that Champaign is still growing at a considerable rate and that the city should see another increase in revenue after the 2010 census.

The count of residents, referred to as enumeration, will affect 12 subdivisions. This includes the newly developed areas of Ashland Park, Boulder Ridge and Sawgrass, according to the press release. The Cherry Hills subdivision will also be counted as a result of a recent annex.

The city will hire 25 to 30 temporary enumerators to go to the areas where the census is taking place. The enumerators will go door to door to conduct a short, seven-question interview to collect information such as the number of residents in the house and how long they have been living there. Residents will only be counted if they have been living in their residence for two or more years. The process is expected to take three to four weeks to complete.

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The city is encouraging residents to participate in the enumeration, as all information is confidential and the extra revenue will be used to provide public services.

Kotewa said that the results of the census will be ready by early March, and at that time the city will decide how the increased revenue will be utilized.