Newman: Census summary for cities incorrect

Vicky Newman News-Herald

County planning director Russell Newman Monday released a revised census summary, with new numbers for the 2010 total populations of Loudon County municipalities.

According to Newman, the correct 2010 population numbers include: Lenoir City, 8,642; Loudon, 5,381; Greenback, 1,064; Philadelphia, 656; and Tellico Village, 5,791.

"I made an error when I pulled those numbers," Newman said of city totals and a population map he had released last week. He explained he had accidentally pulled the figures for "crossover" voter districts rather than those for population inside city limits.

The incorrect numbers were published in an article which appeared the Sunday/Monday, May 22-23 issue of the News-Herald. Other demographic information in that article was correct. Newman had added the city totals  - for Loudon, Lenoir City, Greenback and Philadelphia - to a census summary document he had provided to the Loudon County Commission members May 16. He also provided a map graphic which included the incorrect city numbers which appeared with the article.

Newman will be working with a committee made up of County Commissioners, County Mayor Estelle Herron, and Susan Harrison, election administrator, when countywide redistricting gets under way.

Redistricting will get started June 1, according to Tom Fleming, director of the Office of Local Governments for the state of Tennessee. It must be completed by Jan. 1, 2012, he said.

"CTAS (County Technical Assistance Service) will be going to the counties and working with the county commissions to perform redistricting over the next six months," Fleming said. "Our office is redistricting central."

City officials and citizens have been able to access census numbers through the U.S. Census website for several weeks. Lynn Mills, Loudon city manager, said he had accessed census numbers to help with budget preparation.

Greenback mayor Tom Peeler said he knew the numbers were incorrect as soon as he saw the article and map.

"I was hoping they were right, because it would mean more of a state share would come to us," Peeler said. Peeler said he had looked at the numbers online, basically to compare census figures with his own census numbers, which he maintains on a regular basis. In 2,000, Peeler protested the census figures, and had the numbers changed when the total was 200 below actual population.

The per capita income figures are not yet available, officials said.