From April 7th to June 30th of this year, Lacombians participated in a municipal census.
The results of that census put Lacombe’s official population at 12,728.
Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie said that this means Lacombe, the newest city in Alberta, will no longer be the smallest city in Alberta.
He said this growth, along with the other accolades Lacombe has received recently, show Lacombians really love the community. “Some of the accolades that we have collected over the last couple of years, it just goes to show the people of Lacombe the pride of their city and how much they love living there.”
In short, the results of the census mean more funding for a number of things in Lacombe. Christie said a lot of the funding formulas used by both the provincial and federal governments are done on a per capita basis and having these updated numbers showing Lacombe’s growth means more money for a number of initiatives in the community.
“The more people we have, the more funding we get,” said Christie.
Complete census findings will be available in future months, but the City is expecting $255,188 in additional funding from provincial and federal grants. Christie said this will not add new services to what the City offers, but those programs that do receive funding from the government (like policing and libraries, for example) will be better funded to do their jobs.
There is more good news to come out of this census as well. In 2012, last time the City of Lacombe ran a census, an estimated 1,000 people were missed.
Not only does this year’s census show Lacombe’s growth, it shows that the City managed to account for those missed last time as well.
Christie also said this year’s census had a high response ratio of 99.5%. He attributed this to new tools utilized by the City this time around, which were produced by the City of Airdrie. He said it had better tracking tools and used other formats (such as an online option and by phone) to fill out a census rather than just having enumerators going door to door. He also said offering alternative methods was key to the success of this year’s census.
Meanwhile, growth is something that has been talked a lot about within Lacombe in the last year. Lacombe’s need for more housing stock and increased growth in the commercial sector have been topics of discussion within council chambers. Christie said the results of the census show Lacombe is growing, but in a stable fashion. He added the slow steady growth means the City knows there are issues that need to be taken care of, but has some time to meet those challenges before they become critical problems.
Christie added the City is already working on addressing these problems. He said the City is also planning on bringing some new residential lots online in the next year and is looking at new ways to tackle the issue of economic development.