Westfield City Council approves special census

By Anna Skinner

At the Westfield City Council meeting on May 26, John Rogers approached the council to propose a special census to happen now, five years earlier than the next census in 2020.

The census costs $650,000, but with a PowerPoint presentation, Rogers displayed how the city could gain $1 million as a result.

Fishers is also going through with a special census.

“We looked at doing a joint effort with Fishers, but the census office didn’t think it would be a great idea because they feared the comingling of information,” Rogers said.

The money is earned by government federal funding.

Council member Rob Stokes was concerned about the taxes and what form they would come in regarding the census.

Rogers explained that the census is driven by the Motor Vehicle Highway taxes, cigarette and liquor taxes and riverboat tax.

There are a variety of options that Westfield will be able to pay for the census fee, such as the general fund of cash on hand or a supplemental loan.

The money can be redirected however the council wishes, yet if they use the general fund to pay for the census fee, the money would have to be replaced.

Rogers recommended the council to pay with the supplemental fund since it allows them to move forward quickly with the seven month process.

After Rogers’ presentation, the council voted to move forward with the special census. The census shows that Westfield has a population of 37,914 people.