Okotoks census gets underway May 7

By: By Ian Tennant

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2014 03:38 pm

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Enumerators will be fanning out across Okotoks on May 7 to help the town acquire an accurate head count of residents, a number that is key when the municipality applies for federal and provincial grants.

“They are not selling anything,” joked human resources and communications manager Nancy Weigel about the 20 enumerators who will hit the streets May 7.

“We really just want to know how many people live” in a home, she said.

The enumerators will not be knocking on doors on May 7. They will leave a door hanger that encourages residents to complete the census online. On the door hanger will be a spot the resident can scratch with a coin to reveal a PIN specific to that home or apartment.

The resident can then go to www.censusalberta.ca/okotoks, log in with the PIN and fill out the census, which simply asks, “What is the usual number of residents that live in this household as of May 7, 2014.”

Weigel said the May 7 date is important. If, for example, a newborn joins a household on May 8 that girl or boy cannot be counted for the census.

However, if a household has a student who is planning on returning for the summer, that person can be counted as part of the household.

Think in terms of “primary residence,” Weigel said.

Residents will have until May 21 to complete the census online. After that date, enumerators will return to homes that haven’t been counted to leave another door hanger asking for a response. The enumerators may at that time also knock on the door to gain the information, which they can enter into a town-supplied iPad on the spot.

Weigel said the town has “always had a very good response” from residents, noting in the past less than 100 homes out of more than 10,000 did not take part in a census.

She reiterated that an accurate count of the number of residents in Okotoks is critical for a rapidly growing town applying for per capita grants offered by the provincial and federal governments, thereby possibly lessening the reliance on taxing local residents.

If a resident does not have access to a computer, he or she can use computers at the town library, or wait until the second visit by enumerators.

The 2013 census determined Okotoks was home to 26,319 people. The 2012 census pegged the population at 24,511.


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