A special census conducted in O’Fallon only found about half amount of new people city leaders had hoped for, but it the venture will still have a pretty big pay off.
The special census, which was conducted in January, found 2,044 new city residents — a 7 percent growth in population since the last regular census was conducted in 2010. The 2010 count put O’Fallon’s population at 28,396. The new total is 30,440, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.
Leaders had thought the latest census could reveal as many as 4,000 new residents.
“We strongly believe we are over 30,000 now, and we think it could be as high as 32,000,” said Grant Litteken, assistant to the city administrator, said in January.
Despite not reaching those expectations, Mayor Herb Roach said the census was still worth doing.
“This new population count not only shows that O’Fallon continues to grow, but it also helps us qualify for state revenues we need to provide essential services,” Roach said.
Municipalities in the Illinois collect state revenues, such as state income tax, motor fuel tax, and state use tax, based on per capita (population) distributions. As a result of the new population count, the city expects to receive an additional $247,324 per year, for the next three years, until the 2020 Census counts are finalized.
“If you calculate the amount of increased revenue we will receive over the next three years and subtract the cost of performing the special census, the city will see approximately $610,000 in extra revenue that we would not have received from the state if we would not have performed the special census,” said Finance Director Sandy Evans.
The city of O’Fallon paid approximately $130,000 to perform the special census.
“This special census was well worth the city’s time and energy,” Roach said. “Thank you to everyone who participated.”