Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Some cities look for census results, others unconcerned
March 15, 2010

By Lynda Jensen
Editor

WRIGHT, McLEOD, CARVER, MN – Most census packets have been dropped off or mailed in the area, with a mixed reaction from local cities of what the results may hold. For a breakdown of population estimates from the last two census counts, along with current population estimates, click here.

“We’re kind of excited,” commented Howard Lake City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp about the pending results. She pointed out that during off years – that is, every year between an even decade number – the numbers used are simply estimates.

Howard Lake is looking to gauge its senior citizen population in order to look into assisted living options, Hinnenkamp said.

Waverly is preoccupied with the numbers, ever since it was unalloted LGA in late 2008, when it was tagged with demographic estimates that put the city’s population just over 1,000.

At the time, the estimate came in at 1,028, prompting the loss of $35,197 in LGA, since the loss in aid was targeted to cities over 1,000 population.

Waverly conducted its own local count June 2009 to confirm the numbers, since it was received so doubtfully at the time, Clerk Debbie Ryks said.

Connie Holmes spearheaded the effort as part of the economic development authority, with volunteers sending state demographic post cards and going door-to-door, counting each resident.

This resulted in a grand total that was actually more than the estimate, 1,089, Ryks said.

Some unexpected good news for Waverly has been that many foreclosed homes that were sold have been bought by new families, who have moved into town, Ryks said. “We have a lot of new residents now.”

On the other hand, Winsted City Administrator Brent Mareck said that, although the data will be interesting, there isn’t anything critical that the city is looking for.

Lester Prairie is expecting steady numbers and no surprises, commented Clerk Marilyn Pawelk. “We’re not anticipating any big difference,” she added.

New Germany sustained very few changes over the years, and in fact will end up with very close to the same population in 1990 as in 2010, Clerk Joan Guthmiller said.

In 1990, New Germany recorded 353 residents, according to census figures. In 2000, it recorded 346 residents, and for a current estimate, the demographer’s office estimated 371 people.

The current estimate is a figure disputed by Guthmiller, who asked “Where did all those people come from?” The city’s official tally is 350, which is three away from the 1990 number.

In Mayer, Administrator LuAyn Murphy stressed the importance of being counted for the sake of federal money that should be granted the state on a national level. “I’d like to be sure that everyone gets counted,” she added.

This is true also in the sense that Minnesota may lose a congressional seat if it loses enough population, or if other states gain more.

Nevertheless, locally, if growth continues its present course, most cities will grow at a fairly consistent rate.

“In 2002, we started to get developments,” Ryks observed. The high growth periods were 2003-05, she added.

This, of course, has “definitely been on a plateau in the last two to three years,” Mareck said.

The canvassing procedure also mystified residents of the Lester Prairie area, with some people being by mail, and some not; as well as some being visited and some not.

Victor Township residents also reported being contacted twice, with two different surveys in a month’s time.

Cities in McLeod and Wright counties appear to be underway with the process, with Carver yet to be engaged.


 

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