Hendricks challenges 2020 census results | News, Sports, Jobs
HENDRICKS — The United States Census Bureau reported a loss of nearly 100 people in Hendricks over the past 10 years, inspiring doubt among city officials.
The city is taking steps to challenge its 2020 census total of 616 people. This is down from 713 people in 2010.
Hendricks was the only community in Lincoln County to report a substantial population decline. Others were flat as Ivanhoe, Lake Benton and Arco all saw small increases. Tyler experienced a fall of only a few people.
Hendricks Town Administrator David Blees said he was figuring out what needed to be done to formally challenge the census results.
“It’s a complicated process” Bles said. “There’s no way to just make a call and ask for instructions. It will take months, maybe more than a year.
The city’s population has hovered around 700 people for the past 40 years. It went from 684 people to a total of 713 in 2010.
Blees said Hendricks has continued to experience strong economic activity over the past decade. There was a multi-million dollar renovation to the city’s hospital and clinic, as well as a major upgrade to the campground next to Hendricks Lake.
“We are surprised by the census” he said. “I can’t help but feel that somehow people have been missed. Maybe they underestimated our snowbirds or maybe COVID affected the level of response. We would like to have it rechecked.
He is particularly surprised by a census estimate of 77 vacant homes in Hendricks, a figure that does not seem possible from his observations.
“That would be almost a third of the city,” he said. “I can’t imagine it being that high. I think we would have noticed and tried to do something about it.
Instead, Hendricks, like most of the area, seems to be seeing limited housing availability. Blees reports that homes listed for sale tend to sell at premium prices.
He said no census bureau staff visited the city office in 2020. He did not notice any enumerators going door to door.
Hendricks Mayor Julie Hogie, who also sits on the board of the town’s Economic Development Authority, said she was pleased with the overall results of economic development in Hendricks during the 2010 decade. expected a slight increase in population during the census.
“People might look at the census report and think we’re not tracking the rest of Lincoln County,” Hogie said. “It is not. We have an active business district and several major amenities.
She said Hendricks Lake, Hendricks Golf Club, K-12 Public School and local health facilities all help make Hendricks attractive to potential new residents.
She is willing to invest city staff time in challenging the census figure because of what it could mean in terms of future prospects for economic expansion. Given the results from the Hendricks area, she said the city’s total seems to stand out as something that should be questioned.
“We would like to at least have it revised”, Hogie said. “The numbers don’t seem to match anything we’ve seen. It’s worth our time to find out if it’s accurate or not.