The city received some much anticipated news: the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has certified the results of the special census.
The headcount found Macomb’s official population is 21,516. The 2010 census had set the city’s population at 19,288.
The increase of 2,228 means the city will receive more motor fuel tax money and other shared revenues from the state and federal governments.
“Based on predictions of that shared revenue we would anticipate approximately $300,000 in additional revenue coming to the city each year for the balance of this decade,” said Mayor Mike Inman.
He said that will add up to around an extra $1.2 million.
Some of the money could be used to pay for the special census, which Inman said cost $95,000.
“As far as a cost-benefit ratio, it’s substantially in our favor,” the mayor said.
Inman said the city was surprised by the findings of the 2010 census.
The special census was done in the northwest and southeast quadrants of town. The northwest section is where many Western Illinois University students live, while the southeast side includes several long-term living facilities. Inman pointed out the 2010 census was largely done by mail rather than face-to-face contact with residents.
“Both of those demographics, particularly the young demographic, is probably not inclined to even get mail, let alone respond to it when they get it,” said Inman.
“(And) we’ve had a significant increase in the number of assisted living units on the southeast part of town through developments at Wesley Village and Grand Prairie. Some of those folks may have gotten their mail literally lost in the shuffle.”
Inman said the city has plenty projects that it could spend the extra money on but no decisions have been made. He said the city will continue to be “good stewards” of public money and be conservative with spending decisions.