Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Population increases 16 percent

March 21, 2001

Tonganoxie, and all of southern Leavenworth County, have grown considerably in the past 10 years, according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the census conducted last spring, Tonganoxie grew by 16 percent, from 2,347 in 1990 to 2,728 in 2000.

Although city administrator Chris Clark was anticipating growth, he thought Tonganoxie's numbers would be higher.

"It's actually less than we had anticipated," Clark said. "I think we need to wait and see the detailed numbers."

The administrator said he's eager to see how many people were counted in several new subdivisions in Tonganoxie, including South Park, Stone Creek and Eagle Valley.

"A lot of the building permits that were issued in 1999 were issued in the second half of the year," he said.

In that year, the city issued 66 residential building permits, while it issued 99 last year. It's possible many of those new homes were not occupied when census workers made their rounds.

"I think these numbers are going to be deceptively low because of the timing and take-off of the growth," Clark said.

Regardless, additional growth is on the way.

"I think people need to be cognizant of the fact that the trailer park alone is going to have 91 units in it," Clark said. "It should show a spike in 2001. I think we're going to have a real decent influx in our population just from that."

Much of the growth in Leavenworth County was centered in the south. The county grew by 8.26 percent, which represents 5,320 people.

Basehor grew by 33.45 percent 561 additional people, bringing its population to 2,238.

Linwood and Easton both lost population during the 10 years since the last census. Linwood dropped 35 residents, down to 374, and Easton lost 43 residents, down to 362.

Lansing, however, grew at a swift clip up 2,079 people to 9,199, which is a 29.2 percent jump. But the city of Leavenworth took a slide, down by 3,075 people, a drop of 8 percent.

The decrease in Leavenworth and the increase in Lansing have raised some eyebrows, according to Gary Carlson, executive director of Leavenworth Area Development.

"It was a totally blow me over with a feather kind of thing," he said. "When you look a day at a time, you don't see change, and in 10 years, when it hits you in the face you see it."

Like Clark, Carlson is eager to see more detailed information about where certain population counts were taken. For instance, the veterans administration hospital in Leavenworth has dropped by about 1,000 people. And the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth is down about 1,500 people.

"Just the VA and the military, which are officially in the city limits of Leavenworth, are a major change," he said.

And Carlson thinks it's possible a census tract that lies half in Leavenworth and half in Lansing could have been tallied only as Lansing residents.

"Even if it was a mistake, my experience of 10 years ago is that the Census Bureau won't change anything," he said.

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