2011-04-02 / News

Mixed bag for lake area population growth

By Scott Rawdon
Counties 2010 Population

LAKE AREA – Results of the 2010 US Census show most of the lake area’s population grew between 2000 and 2010 with a few exceptions, including Buckeye Lake Village and Somerset, which lost residents, and Thornport, which broke even. Perry County will soon have no cities.

Results were released March 9. Here are the 2010 US Census population results for Buckeye Lake and its surrounding area according to usatoday.com:

Fairfield- 146,156 with 19.1% increase 2000-2010

Licking- 166,492 with 14.4% increase 2000-2010

Perry- 36,058 with 5.8% increase 2000-2010

Municipalities 2010 Population

Baltimore- 2,966 with 3% increase 2000-2010

Buckeye Lake- 2,746 with 9.9% decrease 2000-2010

Fairfield Beach- 1,292 with 11.1% increase 2000-2010

Glenford- 173 with 12.6% decrease 2000-2010

Harbor Hills- 1,059 with 15.8% increase 2000-2010

Hebron- 2,336 with 14.8% increase 2000-2010

Lancaster- 38,780 with 9.7% increase 2000-2010

Millersport- 1,044 with 8.4% increase 2000-2010

New Lexington- 4,731 with 0.9% increase 2000-2010

Newark- 47,573 with 2.8% increase 2000-2010

Somerset- 1,481 with 4.4% decrease 2000-2010

Thornport- 1,004 with no change 2000-2010

Thornville- 991 with 35.6% increase 2000-2010

Thurston- 604 with 8.8% increase 2000-2010

Fairfield Beach, Harbor Hills and Thornport are not municipalities in the sense that they are incorporated. However, population is tracked for the census.

“I think it’s a combination of everything,” said Thornville Mayor Beth Patrick, whose village grew a whopping 35.6 percent since 2000. “I think it’s a great location, great school system, and a nice quiet town to raise a family.” He said Thornville has also added apartments, condominiums, and the Thorn Hill residential development.

Buckeye Lake Mayor Rick Baker speculated his village’s 9.9 percent decrease in population may be attributed to the village having no major annexations for many years, and there’s been no major residential development. The village’s largest residential development – The Landings at Maple Bay – stalled and recently went into bankruptcy before completing its first four-unit building. In fact, he said, the village has been demolishing derelict homes in an effort to clean up the village and improve the housing stock.

Soon there will be no more cities in Perry County. New Lexington City Administrator Scott Bryant said he expects to receive notice from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office that New Lexington is officially a village because its population fell below 5,000 to 4,731. He said the 2000 census also calculated New Lexington’s population was below 5,000, but the city challenged it and conducted its own survey that showed its population to be approximately 5,100.

This time, however, New Lexington officials won’t question the 2010 census, said Bryant. He said the notification would be read into the minutes at a future council meeting and then, 30 days after the reading, New Lexington officially becomes a village.

“It’ll be business as usual,” said Bryant, who added that New Lexington would operate the same as a village as it does a city. 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. New Lexington operates under a charter, which precludes major changes to how it’s governed.

Previously, John Mahoney, Ohio Municipal League deputy director, said that little changes

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