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Cities hold census to gain more state money

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Santa Claus isn't the only one making a list and checking it twice on Christmas Eve.

Several cities and towns in Middle Tennessee are conducting a special census to count their citizens.

The final count could mean big bucks for those communities, and that's why some cities are offering presents if you participate.

For every person living in a home, the state will give that city about $100.

Cities across the Midstate are going the extra mile just hoping for a response.

"We're going to count every response that we get," said Oak Hill Mayor Austin McMullen.

The census forms take about 40 seconds to fill out.

"The city provides trash service, provides chipper service and we pay for the roads," said McMullen.

According to the 2010 census, Oak Hill had 4,500 residents, 200 less than the previous census.

"We don't think that it's accurate," said McMullen.

Because of this, the city is asking for a recount.

"It could be in excess of $20,000 a year in additional revenue to the city every year until the 2020 census," said McMullen.

Franklin is also doing a special census for the same reason.

"We estimate that our community has grown from around 62,000 up to around 70,000," said Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey.

To get Franklin residents involved, city officials are offering the chance to win a free iPad mini and gift cards.

"We just need a little help at the end to make sure we're getting everybody counted," said Stuckey.

Time is of the essence. The deadline for Franklin citizens is Jan. 30. Even if you don't win a prize for completing the census form, residents still stand to gain.

"This pays off immediately," said Stuckey. "Our next budget will have additional revenue we don't have today and it will help us serve the citizens better and help keep those taxes down."

The deadline for Oak Hill residents to complete the census is Jan. 20.

You can fill out the census forms for Oak Hill and Franklin on the Internet. You can also send in your form by mail in the pre-paid envelopes.

In Franklin, anyone who filled out a form will automatically be entered into the prize drawings.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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