The Freer City Council met on Monday to discuss several issues which included challenging the 2010 Census results.
The council took action by authorizing the 7th annual Freer Freedom Festival. Assistant to the Secretary Tina Garza said the festival will still take place.
The council also approved amendments to the 2011 budget that would include increases to street maintenance and allow for funds for the drug screening of the new animal control officer for the City of Freer.
The City of Freer also entered into an agreement with most of the Coastal Bend for the Inter-local Assistance Regional Environmental Task Force.
This agreement includes, but is not limited to, the counties of Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg and many others.
“What we are trying to curb here is illegal dumping,” said Cynthia Lackey, Secretary of the City of Freer. “Illegal dumping is and has been a problem for many years. This household and automotive waste can cause disease and contaminate the water supply. Almost all of the Coastal Bend is uniting in cracking down on illegal dumpers and issuing fines to those that are caught in the act.”
Also on the agenda was the City of Freer’s plan to challenge the 2010 Census results.
Lackey said the city believes there are several inconsistencies in the results of the census that need to be addressed.
“Well to start off,” Lackey said. “The Census lists our population as having decreased from 3,421 to 2,818, we as a community feel that we have grown as our commerce has expanded.”
In addition, the Census lists there are 194 vacant homes in Freer; Lackey says that number is inaccurate.
“The Border Patrol is wanting to move 183 families into Freer,” Lackey said. “We just do not have the housing. The Census is flawed in saying that we have 194 homes vacant. Most of those homes are not livable and therefore should not be classified as vacant, but rather condemned or abandoned.”
The City of Freer has already begun plans to do its own investigation and follow up with their numbers to the Census.
“We are hoping to give them a more accurate picture,” Lackey said. “This way Freer can be reflected with its true growth and potential.”
The Census has given Freer until December 2013 to provide them with the new report.