Monday, February 19, 2001

Census tally can literally make or break a city

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Results of the 2000 federal census will be of more than causal interest in Powell, St. Clairsville and Nelsonville.

        All three Ohio towns have about 5,000 people, the minimum population set by state law for a community to move from village to city status, or back again. Such changes also mean significant restructuring in government.

        Every 10 years, three or four communities anticipate a status change, said John Mahoney, deputy director of the Ohio Municipal League.

        “Three become cities and one goes back to village status,” he told the Columbus Dispatch for a story Sunday.

        Villages that evolve into cities need charters and civil service commissions and might have to change their accounting procedures.

        The new status also makes them eligible for more community block grant money.

        Powell, in southern Delaware County north of Columbus, is a village on the brink of becoming a city.

        The city of St. Clairsville, in Belmont County, might slip back into village status based on the head count.

        In Athens County, the city of Nelsonville also appears to be on the edge of becoming a village.


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