Tompkins County
New York

Report or Discussion Item

Local Update of Census Addresses Program (LUCA)




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Meeting History

Jul 5, 2017 3:30 PM  Government Operations Committee Regular Meeting

Mr. Potter provided a memorandum to the Committee on the 2020 Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA), a program that takes place in advance of the Census count and is scheduled to begin in February 2018. He explained there is a two-year window of opportunity to improve address details locally to which the Census distributes its surveys. This is particularly important in Tompkins County because of the Ithaca College and Cornell dormitories. In 2000 there was a large problem because the Census Bureau had misaddressed some of the Cornell dorms resulting in some of the City of Ithaca population ending up in Cayuga Heights that led to a lawsuit during the redistricting effort that was filed against the County by some of the local municipalities. He said it is important that addressing details are done properly at the start of the project and also for other local programs such as emergency response.

Mr. Potter said the next decision point is some authorization or directive that would allow him to have conversations with municipalities that would allow the process of submitting information to move forward. He suggested that this Committee would serve as the oversight committee for this initiative as it moves forward. There would be no cost for helping municipalities other than time that has already been built into the program. Mr. John said he would support this as it is at the taxpayers benefit.

Ms. Chock said she served as a member of the committee the last time the County prepared for the Census and spoke of how crucial the census is to the County's operations and said there are all kinds of federal and state money at stake by the population falling under 100,000. She suggested having a Legislator involved at some point; Mr. Potter responded that the group Ms. Chock referenced would be put into place after the LUCA efforts. In response to Ms. Kiefer, Mr. Potter said he would be taking this back to TCCOG (Tompkins County Council of Governments) as well as communicating with municipal clerks and code enforcement officers. The Committee was supportive of Mr. Potter moving forward and having a dialogue with municipalities.

Mr. Potter said this is particularly important at this point because this time they will not be hiring field people as they have in the past due to budget cuts at the Federal level. Prior to the actual survey work they would have people validate addresses and these workers now will not be going out.

Mr. Klein asked what happens to houses that are built after the database is assembled. Mr. Potter did not know but will check with his contacts at the Census Bureau.