Macomb city officials believe the population results of the 2010 census are inaccurate and they're doing something about it.
City council members agreed Monday to apply for a special census recount in an effort to reclaim state funding that has been potentially lost. Mayor Mike Inman says this is the third time the city has gone through the recount process.
"We did this in 1990 and 2000 and we saw significant changes in numbers," Inman said. "The last time we did this we recaptured 2,000 residents."
The 2010 census determined Macomb to have 19,288 residents, which is about 2,000 less than what Inman thinks is the true amount.
"We estimate that each resident brings in between $110 and $120 in state aid to our city," Inman said. "If we reclaim 500 residents at $110 per person, that's $55,000 a year in aid that the city isn't receiving."
Inman says there are two main reasons why the population numbers could be skewed.
The census is required by law to be conducted in April and according to Inman, the population in the fall is significantly higher because of varied enrollment numbers at Western Illinois University.
"Trends show that the enrollment is always higher in the fall," Inman said. "We can and should legitimately account for those students that reside in Macomb."
Inman also says he and other city officials have seen a continuing migration of people into the city from outlying areas in McDonough County.
The special census application is expected to be sent in within the next week to ten days, and Inman hopes to get a response within the next 30 days. The recount would then take place between August and October.
As far as the cost of a special census, Inman believes it'll be well worth it. The recount for the 2000 census cost the city approximately $150,000. He doesn't expect this recount to be as large of an area to cover, so he's hopeful it will cost less this time around.
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