City officials say they are in the very preliminary stages in their efforts to dispute 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data that show Roswellâ€™s population to be below 50,000 residents.
City Planner Michael Vickers, who is essentially heading the effort on the cityâ€™s end to argue the data, said Wednesday that of ficials are just beginning to review their options.
â€œWeâ€™re still trying to find a consultant, … someone who has been in this situation before,â€ he said.
Vickers explained he is sifting through hundreds of pages of previous yearsâ€™ census data, looking to see if there were any other cities that had similar results that Roswell experienced this year, namely cities that may have disputed the data and cleared the 50,000 hurdle after an appeal process.
â€œ(Iâ€™m) looking through the data from the 2000 and 1999 census for other cities,â€ he said.
â€œAs soon as I come across one, Iâ€™ll be calling them.â€ In the meantime, the City Council is slated to vote on a resolution appealing the latest census results during its regular scheduled monthly meeting tonight. If passed, the resolution af firms that the city is appealing the data through the Census Count Question Resolution program.
The appeal is an effort to establish Roswell as a Metropolitan Statistical Area and become an entitlement community. â€œGrowth of the city would be hampered by not becoming a Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Lost opportunities with national developers in retail, commercial office, industrial and manufacturing will occur,â€ reads the agenda itemâ€™s impact description.
â€œFunding for municipal infrastructure needs as well as medical and educational facilities through state and local government will be lost by not gaining such status,â€ it continues.
â€œHundreds of millions of dollars, both private and public sectors, will be lost.â€ Vickers said the resolution is â€œjust the first step in the process.â€ Last month, city business leaders announced they planned to lend support in disputing the results.