Can the U.S. Census Bureau make over 1,000 people disappear? That question has been raised recently in the town of Maharishi Vedic City. The city is located northwest of Fairfield in Jefferson County.
Director of Government Relations for the city, Kent Boyum, told KTVO a few months ago that he believed the census counted some of their residents as living in an unincorporated part of the county. We spoke with Boyum again today, and he still thinks that is the problem.
The city has taken their case to Jefferson County, the State of Iowa and the federal government.
Jefferson County Supervisor Stephen Burgmeier told KTVO today that, "We really can't do anything. This is an issue with the federal government, the state, and Maharishi Vedic City.
Boyum said, "We have never really gone through the census before. It's good to have the numbers correct for all reasons. For grants, certain political taxes and for some other things that are based on population, it could have an influence."
The city estimates that 1,299 residents live within the city limits. The U.S. Census Bureau said the city only has 259 residents. That is a difference of 1,040 people. To the city that adds up. Boyum estimated that with each passing month without the correct population, an estimated $15,000 for roads and infrastructure are being lost. The city has to go through an appeals process starting this summer. By that time, an estimated $60,000 would have been lost because of the error.
County Supervisor Burgmeier told KTVO that the city does have a case. That case will have to go through the federal government, who then has to correct the mistake. That process will begin July 1st.