The sign greeting visitors to Cottage Grove just off Interstate 5 declares that this is a city of less than 10,000. There's been debate and speculation over the last year but according to Portland State University (PSU)--the only agency that matters in such distinctions--Cottage Grove will remain a city of less than 10,000 people. For now.
According to PSU, there are 9,920 residents in the city.
" Recently reported the US Census 2016 Estimate puts the City of Cottage Grove’s population at 10,109. The US Census methodology uses less community specific information and is a rougher estimate of the population. PSU uses the same data but also pulls in specific information such school enrollments, building permits, housing demolitions and other community or county specific data to attempt to generate a much more accurate estimate," Cottage Grove City Manager Richard Meyers wrote of the estimate.
Meyers and other city officials wait with baited breath for the population estimates because once Cottage Grove hits 10,000 residents, a slew of changes must go into affect.
The city will need to add an additional garbage service which will coincide with the current confusion of recycling. Plastics are no longer accepted at the landfill and state regulations approved by the state legislature during its last session will essentially require that the city create "garbage police" to monitor what items are being recycled.
According to Meyers, when the city does hit 10,000, it will likely opt for a weekly yard debris services that will either be billed separately or increase the cost of the current garbage bill.
The estimate released last week is preliminary and is made public each year around Nov. 15. The number will be certified in December.