Towns Urged To Examine Census Count

September 16, 1990|By Steve Groft | Steve Groft,SUN STAFF

County planner Greg Horner told representatives of Carroll's eight municipalities that while the U.S. Census Bureau's population figures are similar to county estimates, each town should examine the numbers closely.

During the count this spring, several county residents complained that they did not receive census forms. County Public Information Director Micki Smith, who coordinated Carroll's census promotional effort, was among those left out.

The census is used to determine federal aid and changes in political representation. The figures also are used at the state and county levels to make decisions concerning public facilities and social programs.

"The unofficial and preliminary counts we received a week ago showed the county having 123,097 people," he said. "We had a figure of 127,997, about a 3 or 4 percent difference, which isn't bad when you figure our estimates are based using the 1980 census as a starting point."

Horner said that while the bureau's county population total is close to the Planning Department's estimate, housing categories show more substantial differences.

Among the areas of concern, he said, was the overall housing count, which the census shows as being only 88 percent of the county's estimate.

Housing occupancy was another area that merited some concern, he said.

"I can't believe that New Windsor has only an 86 percent occupancy rate," Horner said, looking over the figures.

Town officials said they would examine the population figures for possible mistakes.

In other action, Eugene C. Curfman, Finance Department director, discussed the work his office has been doing in establishing impact fees.

Those fees would be paid by builders and would be used to build roads and schools at a pace to keep up with growth.

Curfman said he would present his proposed numbers to the commissioners at a meeting scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

"I will present the maximum justifiable amount and other scenarios," he said.

The "other scenarios," he said, might involve assessing lower fees and finding other sources for the difference in revenue.

Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown said he wanted to be sure the rates were based on accurate growth and construction cost projections and were not just picked out of the air.

Curfman assured him that the numbers were not arbitrary.

Copyright The Baltimore Sun 1990

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