Isabella County, Mount Pleasant and Union Township are all more likely to receive increased state aid in the future because of higher population counts.
According to 2010 U.S. Census data released Tuesday, the city of Mount Pleasant’s population remained stable at 26,016 — a 70-person increase from 2000.
Jeff Gray, director of planning and community development, said he is pleased to exceed the city’s goal of 25,000, because it is a critical number in funding formulas.
Gray was also satisfied with the city’s 80-percent participation rate.
“The results are a credit to the people of Mount Pleasant who took the time to fill out the forms,” Gray said. “Also, to the committee members and city staff that worked hard to get the word out and get people to participate.”
Gray said it is hard to estimate how the results will affect the region’s future.
The population of Isabella County has reached a record high of 70,311. The number is 11.4 percent greater than in 2000 and the population has been steadily increasing since 1960.
Only Clinton and Livingston counties saw larger percentage increases.
“Needless to say, we’re very pleased but the bigger issue for this year is continuing the services we already have,” said David Ling, chairman of the Isabella County Commission. “The fact that people are still coming to this community when the state has been losing population says something very positive about who and what we are.”
That includes law enforcement and infrastructure services, Ling said.
With a higher population number, more services will eventually be available for students and residents in the community, Union Township Supervisor John Barker said. Among the possible new services are sidewalks and improved streets including through the university.
“People like to walk or bike, but currently that is unsafe in this community,” Barker said.
Union Township’s 2010 population count was 12,927, with a 69.8-percent increase since 2000.
This came as a pleasant surprise to Barker.
“I’m very excited that we’re one of the fastest-growing communities in the state,” Barker said. “While other counties are getting reduced, we are growing.”
Barker said Union Township is well-positioned. He was satisfied with the Census Bureau’s work to get an accurate count that includes students.
The city of Mount Pleasant encouraged students to register as residents of Mount Pleasant instead of their hometowns, because they spend most of their time there throughout the year. This contributed to the population spike, Gray said.
In 2000, only 70 percent of the Union Township population was represented in the Census because many students had already gone home, said township Treasurer Pam Stovak.