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City hopes residents will respond to census online

By: Stacie Snow

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 02:23 pm

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Census requests have been delivered to Airdrie residences and the City is hoping more citizens will respond online this year.

“Right now we have about 50 per cent of our residents responding online and that is great because it saves the City money but we would like to see even more,” Sharon Pollyk, manager of legislative service and corporate communications, told City council at its meeting on April 2.

“It would be great if you could really encourage anyone you talk to to respond online.”

The municipal census is conducted on an annual basis by the City to generate current statistics for per capita grants for infrastructure, social programming operating and capital programs, and policing.

The census will cost the City $32,230 this year. The population of Airdrie, as of June 2011, was 43,155 and reflects an increase of 8.37 per cent or 3,333 residents from 2010. This equated to more than $1 million in additional grant money.

Alderman Ron Chapman said he received his census request on April 2 and it took only minutes to fill it out online.

“It was simple and painless and I like how it tells you how much money you earned for the City at the end,” he said.

Questions residents will be asked this year include:

• The number of residents in a household

• The age and gender of each resident

• The dwelling status and type of the household

• Household income

• The primary language spoken

• Whether residents have lived in Airdrie for less than two years and if so, where residents moved from

Residents will also be asked whether or not they have a suite in their home to ensure every household is accounted for, said Pollyck.

“The information will remain confidential and will only be used for statistical impact,” she said.

“One of the concerns is that this will be enforced if they admit to having another suite and we absolutely cannot do that.”

Census requests will be delivered to residents’ homes from April 1 to 10, during this time residents are encouraged to respond online. From April 24 to May 21, census workers will follow up at residences where responses have not been received to collect the information.

She said the census is particularly important because of the City’s recently approved annexation of 12,000 acres from Rocky View County. The area includes 231 dwellings and 714 people.

Alderman Allan Hunter asked if the $32,000 cost for the census took the annexed area into account.

Pollyck said that it did not but she hopes the online response from residents will free up funds for the delivery of information to the new households.

“We did not foresee that so we are hoping to get an online response from them,” she said.

“Those costs will be offset if we get higher than expected online responses.”


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