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Census count costs Lansford $100,000

Published April 11. 2013 05:02PM

They did their best to get a more accurate population count, but Lansford officials were disappointed to learn that the U.S. Census believes the borough's population is below 4,000.

The low figure means a loss of about $100,000 a year in Community Development Block Grant entitlement grants that could be used to improve streets and repair and maintain the infrastructure. The grant cutoff number is 4,000, and Lansford's count comes in at 59 people below that, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

Last summer, the borough census committee and volunteers scoured the town according to a grid, to see if any housing units had been missed by census workers.

Carbon County officials supported the effort to help the borough. Commissioner William O'Gurek laid the groundwork for the recount, and prepared the necessary forms, and Recorder of Deeds Emmett McCall rallied volunteers.

In a March 14 letter to Lansford Mayor Ron Hood, Frank A. Vitrano, acting associate director, Decennial Directorate, wrote that the U.S. Census can correct for any of three types of errors: Inaccurate jurisdictional boundaries; incorrect placement of living quarters and/or associated population to the correct governmental unit; or coverage because living quarters were erroneously excluded from the census because of a processing error.

Vitrano said the U.S. Census office thoroughly reviewed the documentation sent by the borough, and while it did find "census errors in the geographic placement of housing units and/or group quarters to census tabulation blocks within the legal boundary of the borough of Lansford," the errors "do not affect the total population or housing unit count for the borough of Lansford. This analysis completes our review."

Council President Rose Mary Cannon said she was disappointed in the news. Councilman Tommy Vadyak wondered if there was any immediate recourse the borough could take. Cannon said she believes it would have to wait until the next 10-year census is done.

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