Prince George County to file appeal with Census Bureau

PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - The numbers just don't add up -- that's what local leaders are saying about the 2010 census. Thousands of Fort Lee soldiers may not have been counted which could mean less federal and state dollars for our area.

County leaders in Prince George say, 7,500 soldiers living on the military post were somehow overlooked by census workers.

"If we don't have those numbers in place it could be very difficult for us to be approved for certain grants we're eligible for," said County Administrator, Percy Ashcraft.

A miscount could also impact federal funding for schools in the county. If soldiers weren't counted that means their children, who attend school in the county, weren't counted either.

"We're getting full cooperation with Fort Lee because they understand those people are there but have not been counted," said Ashcraft.

The 2000 census reported 7,269 people living on Fort Lee. The 2010 census shows a dramatic drop, 3,500. Under the BRAC expansion at the post the county administrator says there are at least 10,000 soldiers who call the post home. He says it's important for the feds to get it right.

"We'll be appealing as of June first - that's the first eligible day to ask them to look into and analyze more closely the Fort Lee population and try to ID where these 7,500 folks are because we know they're there. They're just not showing up on any of the counts," said Ashcraft.

The miscount could also impact redistricting in the county. Similar census mistakes were made in Richmond and at the Naval base in Norfolk. In those cases people were counted -- but they were misplaced.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.