Every ten years the federal government must initiate a census of the population of the entire United States. The year 2020 is a census year. In order to ensure an accurate count of each of the City of St. Clairsville’s residents, the federal government needs to secure accurate information from each housing unit within the City and the number of people residing in each unit. The census also gathers information on the age, sex, race and type of housing units in the community. The census gives the City the opportunity to update its residential addresses which results in an accurate count of City residents. In mid March, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will start mailing out to all residential addresses an invitation to complete the census form online.
The City’s Planning and Zoning Administrator, Tom Murphy, has once again revived his role of guiding the U.S. Census Bureau in its local efforts to complete this federally-mandated decennial population count. In 2009, Mr. Murphy worked closely with the Census Bureau staff to ensure that the 2010 census had an accurate population count for St. Clairsville. Since early 2019, Mr. Murphy has been coordinating with Census Bureau staff to ensure that all residential units are accounted for within the municipal limits of St. Clairsville. This local participation ensures that an accurate and proper count of the number of residents takes place.
The importance of gathering accurate information is immeasurable to St. Clairsville in order to maintain its “city” designation, rather than dropping back to a smaller “village” category. The city status ensures more opportunities for state and federal funding through grants and loans for various City projects. The federal funds our community receives for schools, health care services, roads, public works projects, and other federal programs is based on the total population. Population also dictates in part how our area is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the demographics of our area are important to businesses which may be seeking to locate a facility here or expand an existing office.
A prime example of how the City of St. Clairsville has grown during Mr. Murphy’s tenure is the 95-acre parcel of land which was incorporated into the City in 2004. In the intervening years, this multi-use project known as “St. Clair Commons” was chosen as the site for a new senior residential facility which opened its doors in 2018. Ultimately, this senior facility will house 100 residents; and a proposed multi-family housing site within the St. Clair Commons has the potential to continue to grow the population of the community.
St. Clair Commons is a result of thoughtful long-range planning by City leaders. This development will serve as a magnet for additional residential, office, and commercial growth in the southeast area of the City. Each new project in St. Clair Commons – and elsewhere throughout the City – will increase not only the City’s population but also the number of employees from throughout the Ohio Valley who work, shop and invest in our vibrant community.