City loses 795 residents
City Planner Dick Brown, as usual, doesn't agree with the official population estimates and is girding himself for battleThe sign outside of town clearly states that the population of Prineville is 8,205. That may have been accepted as true a few weeks ago, but not any longer.
City Planning Director Dick Brown has informed the city council that according to results of the 2000 census, the city's population is only 7,410. Losing 795 people could mean a large reduction in state and federal funding programs that use those numbers to compute the city's share.
However, once again Brown is preparing to do battle with the agencies in charge of calculating population figures. In the years between each federal census, Portland State University's Center for Population Research and Census informs Oregon cities and counties of their estimated population. Usually, Brown says, he objects and has to prove the center's estimates are too low.
Once PSU's estimate is received, he has a month to decide if it is acceptable. After that, the estimate becomes the official number used by the state to determine all state allocations from the sale of cigarettes, liquor and state gas tax money.
This time, the population figures are based on the latest federal census and Brown isn't able to begin refuting them. At least not until he receives the official directions on how to file his protest. But that doesn't mean he's not preparing his documentation.
Already, he told the council, it's clear that 352 dwelling units in the city were not included in the census. "All of the homes in the Northridge Subdivisions, Yellowpine and Stoneridge subdivisions were not included. All of these," he added, "had been annexed into the city prior to the census."
According to Brown's latest count, the true population of the city is closer to 8,255, but he says he'll accept the 8,205 count. When he challenges the latest estimate, that is the number he will be recommending.