"The city staff know the city inside out, whereas the federal government is looking Adidas Y3 Qasa High Black Neon
"I think the tale it's telling you is where people want to live," he said. "The growth increase that we had wasn't surprising and I think you're going to see growth in Cold Lake keep rising. All the builders in town are going hard and there are a lot of lots available in Cold Lake. [The city], in my opinion anyway, is the place to live in northeastern Alberta."
Despite Copeland's doubt surrounding the accuracy of the federal government's totals for population in the city, he said he's sure the city is growing at a good rate, just as the census found.
"I get the feeling that we should go for it," Lay said. "If we wait a year to do a census I almost guarantee we'll be over 15,000. But if we don't go over this year, then we don't have another census for four years and we'd be dodging 200,000 every year for those four years."
A 2009 report by the Urban Municipalities Association, entitled "Policing in Alberta," found that larger cities generally spend a higher percentage of their budgets to cover the costs of policing.
If the city comes in at just over 15,000, the extra money it will need to spend to cover the higher proportion of the RCMP contract would not likely be gained elsewhere through per capita grants.
In 2006 the federal census recorded 11,991 people in the city, but a municipal census conducted a year later found a significantly higher population of 12,860.
Such a scenario would most benefit the city's ratepayers, he felt. The next federal census will be conducted in 2016 and, at that point, the city's population will most likely be over 15,000 by either a municipal or a federal count.
While the federal government conducts its census every five years, municipalities are free to conduct their own census during any year.
In the 2001 federal census, Cold Lake's population was 11,520. A municipal census in 2002 showed a slightly higher population of 11,595.
The city conducted another count of the population in 2009 which came in at 13,924 people. The numbers from the 2011 federal census, released early this month, recorded a 15.4 per cent increase in the population since the last federal census but a drop of 85 when compared to the latest municipal count, however. The 2011 census reported population in the city of 13,893. Any drop in population in that time is unlikely, noted background information provided by city staff, as 277 single family residential permits were approved by the city since Cold Lake did its own head count in 2009.
While rural councils spend an average of 0.3 per cent of their operating budgets on policing costs, towns with a population greater than 5,000 spend about 15 per cent of their budget to cover the service, while large cities Adidas Sl Loop Runner Gray
The results could mean the city will have to spend significantly more on policing. It could also mean that the city receives more municipal sustainability funding and more money from other grants doled out on a per capita basis.
In past counts, the two levels of government have come up with conflicting numbers.
"If we defer and do not follow through with the budget for a year or two years, then we would get a much higher number that could offset some of that increase in policing costs," Cold Lake councillor Bob Buckle said.
Mayor Craig Copeland said he feels that censuses done by municipalities deliver more accurate numbers.
A city with 15,000 people or less pays for 70 per cent of the cost of the RCMP's municipal contract. Once the city's population exceeds 15,000, it is responsible for covering 90 per cent of the contract. City staff said the extra 10 per cent would cost Cold Lake $200,000 to $250,000.
average of 25.2 per cent of their budgets on policing, according to the report.
Councillor Duane Lay, however, said a municipal census conducted in 2012 would likely come in just under 15,000 people. He reasoned that a municipal census taken this year could maximize the city's numbers for grants and municipal sustainability funding while falling short of the population mark requiring the city to pay 90 per cent of the RCMP contract.
Cold Lake councillors are asking for more information from staff before they vote on whether to conduct a municipal census this year.
Councillors considering 2012 census
at things across Canada and they're missing streets and things like that," he said. "City staff go to all the doors and they're relentless in finding people. And we just do that to find out how many people live in the city that's all we want to Adidas Sl 72 Blue Grey Cream find out."
Councillors voted to postpone a decision on the 2012 municipal census to allow staff more time to gather information about the population required to offset the increase in policing costs that would come from reaching an official number of 15,000 residents.
Copeland and other councillors debated whether to proceed with a municipal census in 2012 at a council meeting held Feb. 15. While most felt the city was approaching the 15,000 mark, they noted there was some strategy in choosing whether or not to conduct a census.
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