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Overton Plans To Hear From UCDD On County Census Options

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Overton Plans To Hear From UCDD On County Census Options

Overton County wants to hear from UCDD on the pros and cons of doing its own county census.

County Executive Ben Danner said he expected the county to grow by at least 1,000 residents but only grew by 428 residents. Danner said the county doing its own census would take manpower and likely a high price tag.

However, he wants the commission to know its options.

“I’m going to get with the development district and get some kind of idea of how that would work if we did a census our self,” Danner said. “Try to get some people who do that and talk to us and see what kind of price tag that would be.”

Danner said he believes there was significant growth in Rickman that might not have been accounted for during the census. He said there are multiple factors playing against a census though.

He said that includes it being a redistricting year, resident participation and the chance money could be spent and numbers were in fact correct.

“I really don’t know how willing the county’s going to be to answer this census again,” Danner said. “Because a lot of people did answer it, some didn’t and everybody already doesn’t like to fill out paper work anyways. The public may want to wait 10 years before they have to do this again so they may not want to fill it out. So that’s got to play into it too, because a lot of the public who filled it out the first time may not fill it out this time.”

Danner said he has heard from other county leaders that there was talk about county censuses, but doesn’t know if anyone is going to actually do it. He said the uncertainty of a new censuses success is why outside voices could help.

“I’m going to bring it up to the commission and try to get some numbers because I know they’ll want to know the cost,” Danner said. “We’ll try to be as conservative with money as we can. I don’t want to spend a couple hundred thousand (dollars) on something that might only net us $20,000 extra from the federal government.”

Danner said that if doing a county census was deemed a good idea, it would be best to wait for the start of 2022 when redistricting is down. However, he said that could affect the voter maps, making that process have to be redone.


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