Population of city off | SteamboatToday.com

Population of city off

Census Bureau missed neighborhood

Avi Salzman

— Contrary to initial census reports, the city of Steamboat Springs had more than 10,000 people in 2000, state officials said.

The city used mapping data to argue the Census Bureau undercounted Steamboat’s residents when it said the city’s population was 9,815 in 2000.

The Department of Local Affairs in Denver agreed, upping the count by 300 people.

That means the city was home to 10,115 people as of 2000, an increase of 51.1 percent as compared to 1990 numbers.

Routt County, likewise, moves up to a total of 19,990 people, a jump of 41.9 percent from 1990.

The change is important because it makes the city eligible for more state money from the Conservation Trust Fund, which distributes lottery proceeds based partially on population.

The census count was upped after the state received data showing the city had a higher concentration of homes than the census bureau initially estimated, said Wendy DuBord, the deputy city manager. According to the city’s data, Census Bureau counters missed 796 housing units, DuBord said.

The counters passed over an entire neighborhood during their first run-through, DuBord added. That neighborhood, near Storm Mountain Ranch, may have had even more than 300 people in it, she said.

DuBord said she did not know why the number ended up being 300, and state officials were unavailable for comment Monday.

The city has compiled thorough records of the number of homes in Steamboat through

its Geographical Information Systems department, which creates detailed maps of the city with detailed structure information. That data, researched by GIS Director Susan Dellinger, came in handy when the city decided to challenge the count.

The city will also likely challenge the count at the federal level, DuBord said.

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