Feb 22 2012

South Pittsburg Considers Census Recount

Archive Staff Photo

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, South Pittsburg, TN’s population fell by more than 300 in the most recent census report,¬†and that number has officials with the city eyeing a voluntary recount.

According to the census, the town’s population dropped from 3,295 in 2000 to 2,992 in 2010.

Mayor Mike Killian said he recently reviewed the state’s census maps for redrawing the four City Commission districts and “it doesn’t look like there will be major changes.”

However, officials worry the census numbers are incorrect, which could cost the town valuable funding.

In a recent interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mayor Killian said, “We need to review those census numbers. If we have to, we need to get a volunteer brigade going, and we may need to recount this town. In my mind, I felt like they undercounted us by 200 to 300 people. When you’re undercounted by nearly 10 percent, it can affect your funding.”

The town gets $104 “per person, per year” in federal and state funding, according to City Administrator Bently Thomas.

Officials say if the count is off by 300 residents, for example, the town would lose $31,200.

Killian says at least one error does exist…the census didn’t list any residents on the block across the street from city hall.

“I know at least six people that are living there, and I can name them,” he said. “So if there’s a difference between six and zero in one block, we could have some variances.”

According to officials, the town could ask volunteers to count residents block by block.

“It might not be such a major thing, but I think we owe it to our people, to ourselves, and to this government to maybe make a recount,” Killian told the Free Press.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press