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Trump hiring freeze may jeopardize Yorkville census

Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski told the CIty Council Tuesday evening that the city's planned special census is likely in jeopardy due to a federal hiring freeze.

The freeze was put into place by President Donald J. Trump shortly after he took office. It has since been lifted at the U.S. Forest Service, and there are other agencies that are exceptions, according to news reports and a memorandum released by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The City Council approved a special census for certain areas of the city in October. Golinski said the city paid $108,000 to the U.S. Census Bureau to pay for census workers, but that the hiring freeze has essentially frozen the census process in its tracks.

"We were due to have a special census this spring," he said. "We sent the Census Bureau a check for $108,000. We covered the full cost of the census including any special census takers. Unfortunately we were notified about two weeks ago that due to the president's hiring freeze on federal employees, the Census Bureau will not be hiring any special census takers even though we pay the salaries of them."

Golinski said he recently joined a group of mayors who met with Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, to get an update on various issues. He said he asked Hultgren about the census issue.

"He said he's reached out to the Census Bureau; there's no update as of yet," Golinski said.

Golinski said he hopes there will be a "workaround" to the issue.

"Congressman Hultgren is looking into it, and hopefully they can find a workaround, or at least give us our $108,000 back," he said.

Golinski said he brought the issue up with the group of mayors, and the mayor of Volo had a similar situation. Golinski said Volo was contacted by the Contact Bureau recently that they could proceed with the special census. However, they could do so because they were "further along in the process," Golinski said.

Golinski said he would continue to contact Hultgren's office to get updates on the situation.

The city could end up losing anticipated revenue if the special census is not completed. There have been an estimated 1,280 new residents who have moved into Yorkville since the 2010 regular census, according to city officials.

The city receives $150 per year per resident in tax disbursements for income tax, use tax, and motor fuel tax, according to city officials. So, the city could lose more than $600,000 in additional revenue between now and the next census if the population is not updated by the special census, according to Golinski.

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