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Article updated: 4/18/2013 9:02 AM

Pingree Grove to discuss special census

By Elena Ferrarin

Pingree Grove is expected to soon discuss conducting a special U.S. Census this year that could bring in increased state revenues, Village President Greg Marston said.

Marston also said he intends to propose to the village board a reduction on residential utility taxes "in the near future." The village increased telecommunications and sewer taxes, and implemented a new natural gas tax in 2011.

The village Monday approved a balanced budget for the fiscal year starting May 1. The current year's budget was also balanced.

"Pingree Grove is about to close the books on a successful year with an approximate surplus of $150,000, which will be transferred into the capital fund once the audit is completed," Marston said.

The village has issued 389 new home permits since the last census in 2010, when Pingree Grove had 4,532 residents, Marston said.

With an average 2.5 people per household, that equals a population increase of 972. Minus the 60 estimated homes that have foreclosed in the village since 2010, that's an estimated 822 new residents, he said.

At an estimated $135.10 per person increase in state revenues, that would result in an overall increased annual revenue of $111,052, Marston said.

Michael Hall, U.S. Special Census branch chief, said the cost of a special census is based on multiple factors, including each state's competitive wages, and the type of dwellings included, such as single-family homes or multiple apartment units, prisons or nursing homes, he said.

"I really can't give a figure without looking at all details," he said. There is a $200 flat fee for a cost estimate, he said.

Between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Censuses, about 310 special censuses were conducted across the country, Hall said.

The village board will also have to consider the requirements for a special census, such as providing a training area plus phone lines, fax lines, copy machines, and more, Village Administrator Ken Lopez said.

Also, the board would have to decide whether to do it for the entire village or select neighborhoods, he said.

If Pingree Grove's projections hold, about $16,000 of the estimated $111,052 in additional state revenues would come from motor fuel tax revenues, and therefore be set aside for road-related projects, Lopez said.

"The lion's share would go into the general fund," he said.

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