City of Lacombe council voted to spend $35,000 on a municipal census this year. Black Press file photo

Lacombe to do a head count this year

Most recent population numbers are three years old

Fast-growing Lacombe is going to do its first municipal census since 2014.

The last population count for Lacombe was done as part of the federal census, which is done every five years. The last was done in 2016 and pegged the population at 13,057.

The 2016 federal census showed that Lacombe had solid growth over the previous five years. Lacombe’s population was up 11.5 per cent from the 11,707 counted in 2011.

“One of the main reasons to complete a census is to have the most accurate and most current numbers to allow a municipality to maximize their gain from grant funding,” said Diane Piché, director of corporate services, told city council on Monday.

Lacombe receives about $210 in per capita grants. The population count would only have to grow by 167 people to cover the cost of the census, said Piché.

Additional grant money will not arrive until 2020 so council had to vote to set aside $35,000 in this year’s budget to do a census.

City staff are pretty sure the population has increased since the last census. There were 5,531 dwellings identified in a “desktop” count of houses, apartments, condos, multiplex and secondary suites.

An average of 2.7 people per household live in Lacombe based on population divided by dwellings in the last census.

Using that math, the population of Lacombe could be well over 14,000.

“That would be a significant increase in grant funding for the city,” she said.

Chief administrative officer Matthew Goudy said the city must provide the infrastructure necessary for its population so if the count is low the municipality is not getting all the money it should to maintain that infrastructure.

Lacombe plans to use census software, which allows for online census responses with traditional door-to-door head counts.

Airdrie has used the software and found 73 per cent success rate for the online census, which meant a lot less door knocking for enumerators.

Lacombe used the same software in 2014 and got a 30 per cent response. That number is expected to go up as more people go online regularly. April 2 will be the official census date and final numbers must be submitted to the province by Sept. 1.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tourism-boosting strategy approved for Red Deer

City to partner with Tourism Red Deer and surrounding regions to increase visitors

Two women rescue abandoned tarantula in Airdrie

The tarantula has a new home and Facebook followers

Red Deer woman wins Edmonton marathon

A Red Deer runner just wanted to do her best Sunday in… Continue reading

Expert panel to review supervised consumption sites in Alberta including Red Deer

Eight experts will hear from Albertans on the social and economic impacts… Continue reading

WATCH: ‘Lots to see and do’ at Pioneer Days in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Bombers quarterback Nichols on 6-game injured list with upper body injury

WINNIPEG — Matt Nichols was at Blue Bombers practice on Monday, but… Continue reading

Bombers’ Nichols latest CFL opening-day starter to go down with injury

Matt Nichols is the latest CFL opening-day starter to go down. The… Continue reading

Ontario cannabis retailer returns $2.9M in CannTrust products to company

The Ontario government’s cannabis wholesaler and online retailer is returning all products… Continue reading

Bell says it will cut back on rural broadband program after CRTC rate cut

Bell Canada says it will cut roughly 200,000 households from a rural… Continue reading

Catalyst Capital Group buys nearly 18.5M HBC shares in tender offer

The Hudson’s Bay Co. insiders who want to take Canada’s oldest retailer… Continue reading

Entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

VANCOUVER — When Jeff Dornan opened a brewery six years ago, he… Continue reading

‘Codfather’ settlement means magnate will never fish again

A fishing magnate known as the Codfather will never be allowed to… Continue reading

Most Read