Facebook Twitter

Eagle Mountain protests census

SHARE Eagle Mountain protests census

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — If Eagle Mountain can successfully challenge the latest census projection estimates, it could lead to dancing in the streets.

New and improved streets, that is.

"If we could realize an additional $50,000 to $100,000 in sales-tax revenue, we would be very, very happy," said City Administrator Chris Hillman.

City leaders contend Eagle Mountain has close to 9,000 residents while the latest census projections have been set at 6,093. If they can prove their numbers are accurate, the city could push for increased allocations of state Class C road funds, money allocated by the state to help cities maintain existing roads and build new ones.

The 2000 Census set Eagle Mountain's population at 2,157.

"We're obviously not too experienced in this sort of (census) challenge," Hillman said. "But we think we have a good case. We've contacted the census bureau and sent for the forms. We're going to appeal. We want it readjusted."

Hillman said the projections are based on the number of building permits a municipality issues each year.

As of July 2002, Eagle Mountain had issued 1,945 permits for residential units.

Bob Renaldi, assistant division chief of the census bureau's Count Question Resolution Office said it gets hundreds of requests for adjustment each time projection estimates go out. Those requests are referred to the projection estimates office for review. Generally, a city gets an answer within three to six months, Renaldi said.

If approved, the new numbers can alter the bottom line in the calculations used to figure sales tax allotments and the Class C Road funds distribution.

"I understand is it's a simple process," Hillman said. "We're just grateful because frankly, we need the money."

Hillman said Eagle Mountain received $202,000 in road funds in 2000 and expects $240,000 this budget year. Sales tax revenues have averaged $150,000 per year.

Eagle Mountain, which incorporated in 1996, has been under financial stress over the past couple of years as leaders dealt with the city's high debt ratio and meeting the demands of a young, rapidly growing population.

The city anticipated a $200,000 shortfall this last year.

Mayor Kelvin Bailey and the City Council have, in a cost-cutting move, approved selling the city-owned utility companies.

Hillman said in addition to bumping up the amount of money the city could receive in road funds and sales tax, a more realistic census count could help the town get more attention from state road planners and school district officials.

Hillman said a Brigham Young University statistics class recently surveyed the community and found Eagle Mountain has a well-educated but very young population with 2.2 children per household and with 90 percent of those children under 4 years of age.

E-MAIL: haddoc@desnews.com