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Craig population rises

New census data reveals 122-resident boost

Joshua Roberts

Craig's population

City population during the past five years:

• July 1, 2006 - 9,251

• July 1, 2005 - 9,129

• July 1, 2004 - 9,263

• July 1, 2003 - 9,201

• July 1, 2002 - 9,244

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Craig’s population

City population during the past five years:

• July 1, 2006 – 9,251

• July 1, 2005 – 9,129

• July 1, 2004 – 9,263

• July 1, 2003 – 9,201

• July 1, 2002 – 9,244

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

— The city of Craig notched its second-highest population – 9,251 residents – since 2000, according to the most recent data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau’s population division.

The population figure was current as of July 1, 2006. Last year’s population total was the largest for Craig since July 1, 2004, when the Census Bureau reported the city’s population at 9,263 residents.

Craig city manager Jim Ferree said city officials aren’t surprised by the latest growth figures, and that Craig City Council supports a slow, steady residential increase over time.

“The City Council is in favor of good, stable, solid growth,” Ferree said.

In response to an anticipated population increase in the coming years – some of which city officials believe to be fueled by energy exploration and development – the city has placed infrastructure improvements and maintenance as a priority.

Ferree cited the $9-million expansion of the city’s water treatment plant, budgeted line items between $200,000 to $500,000 for repairing old water lines and $250,000 to $300,000 for paving.

“We’re just trying to keep our infrastructure in good shape,” the city manager said.

Ferree said the city has been monitoring employment reports from oil and gas companies and those numbers keep going up, thus city officials are braced for population increases rather than being blindsided by them.

According to the census information, Steamboat Springs and Hayden saw slight decreases in their 2006 population totals. Steamboat decreased by 14 residents from 2005 to 2006 – 9,329 to 9,315, respectively. Hayden decreased by five residents – 1,539 residents in 2005 to 1,534 in 2006.

Dinosaur increased by two residents – 340 in 2005 to 342 in 2006.

Meeker and Rangely’s populations also increased. Meeker’s population was 2,300 in 2006, up from 2,232 in 2005. Rangely’s was 2,090 in 2006 and 2,051 in 2005.

Maybell’s data was not reported.


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