Census reveals Kochville growth
April 25, 2011 —
Kochville Township ranked above all other Saginaw County municipalities in terms of residential growth, according to data from the 2010 US Census.
With SVSU at the heart of Kochville Township, this increase isn’t entirely due to new homes springing up in Kochville Township, but rather due to an increase of SVSU students living on and around campus.
In 2000, the Census showed 3,241 residents in Kochville Township. The 2010 results show the population has increased by 1,837 to 5,078. This amounted to a 57 percent increase in 10 years.
There are more than 2,700 students living on campus, almost triple the amount from 10 years ago. SVSU administered the 2010 census to on-campus residents in April of last year. New census counting procedures allowed for students to be counted where they reside during the school year as opposed to being counted in their hometown.
University President Eric Gilbertson said that he is unsure of how the new method will directly affect SVSU, but explained that there is a give and take relationship between the University and the township.
“Students and those who come to the campus do require a level of service from the township, but they also spend money in Kochville and help create a higher level of prosperity than would otherwise be the case,” Gilbertson said.
Steve King, director of the Kochville Downtown Development Authority, said the township benefitted from the increase of students living on campus.
“This increase in population will work to the township’s advantage,” he said. “A lot of funding that comes from federal and state levels comes from population figures. In the long run, this increase should help the township deliver better services to residents.”
King also explained that the population increase could bring more business to the Tri-Cities.
“On a regional scale, this is a good trend to see,” King said. “Tittabawassee and Kochville Townships are growing in Saginaw County. As companies are looking to set up business in this region, they will look not only at growth on the township level, but at the entire region.”
Steve Yanca, Kochville Township treasurer, said the increase in population will mean close to $100,000 more per year in funding from the state level.
“A 57 percent increase in population means a 57 percent increase in revenue sharing from the state,” Yanca said.
He added that the additional revenue will help defray township costs.
“The only revenue the township receives from SVSU is funds from the state to offset fire protection, so the increased funds will help with that cost,” Yanca said.
Kochville Township Clerk Sheila Hill explained other benefits of the population increase, which potentially includes federal money.
“Not only will this increase our piece of pie of the budget funding from the state level in the next 10 years, it could also increase our chance of receiving federal grant funding,” she said.
King said that the increase of oncampus residents at SVSU could also have an effect on the location of voting poles in the township in the future.
“There is currently only one voting precinct for the township located at City Hall,” King said. “If half of the township’s population is located at SVSU, it may make more sense in the future to add an additional poll near the university.”
Yanca said that Kochville Township is in a better financial situation than that of four or five years ago. Roads will be one of the first items to be fixed with the additional funding.
“Kraenzlein Road will be fixed, and in the next few years there are plans to improve Davis, Pierce and a section of Kochville Road, all as part of our capital improvement plan,” he said.
King said it makes sense that the University is located at the center of the Tri-Cities and it is good to see the region benefit from investing in higher education.
“SVSU will continue to be more important to this region as a whole,” he said. “It is not a coincidence that the University has grown in terms of oncampus residents. Having a strong skill set in education will benefit the Tri-Cities in the long run.”