2011-02-05 / News

New census likely to cost Perry County its only ‘city’

By Scott Rawdon

NEW LEXINGTON – When the City of New Lexington receives its census data this month, there’s a strong possibility its population has fallen to below 5,000 – meaning it’s a village, not a city.

“We’ll have all villages and no cities,” said Perry County Commissioner Lonnie Wood. That’s right – if the data shows less than 5,000 population for New Lexington, there will be no cities in all of Perry County, only villages.

“There’s a lot of speculation,” said New Lexington City Administrator Scott Bryant. But there is a strong possibility New Lexington will lose its city status.

“It’s pretty much a wash,” Bryant said. New Lexington would qualify for some grants only available to villages, but, then again, it would lose access to grants it can acquire as a city. Bryan said if the change occurs it will be “business as usual.” There will still be a municipal income tax, and New Lexington’s services, such as police and emergency services will continue to operate as they have.

John Mahoney, Ohio Municipal League deputy director agreed that little changes when a city becomes a village. Additionally, he said New Lexington operates under a charter, which protects it from making changes.

Mahoney said Ottawa County is the only other Ohio county with no cities.

Bryant only anticipates one change. “Maybe I’ll have to order new letterhead,” he said.

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