DeKalb County recently saw a population decrease of thousands of residents overall, with the City of DeKalb looking at nearly 4,000 less residents in the last decade, while that number for Sycamore and Genoa grew, according to recently released U.S. Census data.
DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas said there are 3,572 less residents living in the city between the 2010 and 2020 U.S. Censuses, meaning a roughly 8% drop.
“That affects our per capita revenues and one of the biggest and most important is our share of the state income tax,” Nicklas said during a recent city council meeting to discuss the City’s 2022 budget. “Another one is the local use tax.”
According to the 2020 census data, DeKalb had 43,862 residents recorded in the 2010 U.S. Census. In the 2020 census, there were 40,290 DeKalb residents recorded.
Nicklas said City staff anticipated having about 40,000 people in the city in its next fiscal year budget projections.
“So we’re probably not going to make any other changes to what we project in those particular line items,” Nicklas said.
DeKalb County’s total population dropped from 105,160 in 2010 to 100,420 in 2020, according to U.S. Census data.
Nicklas said it’s unclear which areas specifically had the lowest response rate or how the population change may affect ward boundary drawing down the line. He said city officials still need to sift through data “and there’s a lot of it.”
“I eventually want to do an affordable housing study,” Nicklas said, but the possibility of such and when that might occur is dependent on what the 2020 census data reveals and when he’s able to look through it.
Genoa’s population went up by about 100 people from 2010 to 2020, according to census data. Other information for communities in DeKalb County with populations of less than 5,000 people was not listed in the U.S. Census QuickFacts tool, which included Cortland.
Cortland Mayor Mark Pietrowski Jr. said he hasn’t yet been able to see census data for Cortland.
“The town needs to stay under 5,000 population because once we go over that the town is responsible for police pensions,” Pietrowski said. “There is nothing wrong with police pensions but for the Town to take that on with current budget would represent a challenge.”
On the flip side, Sycamore’s population increased by about 1,000 from 2010 to 2020, according to census data.
Sycamore Acting City Manager Maggie Peck said this week the ”has maintained a steady pace of growth over the last five years, which we can credit to strong city planning over the years.”
“A great example of this is our comprehensive plan, which was just updated this past year and passed by Council this last month,” Peck said. “Sycamore manages its resources and works within our means, which has been beneficial and impactful for the City to maintain quality services and resources for residents and visitors alike.”
As a result of the population increase, Peck said the city will see an increase in the local government distributive fund, which is state-shared revenue based on per capita.
“Sycamore has a vast array of opportunities and is a place that truly offers more, therefore making it an appealing place to live, work and play,” Peck said.