Dorm added to town without campus

Sunday, January 20, 2002

BERTRAM, Iowa -- The Census Bureau admits it made a mistake -- there's no college dorm in Bertram, or even a college, for that matter.

Census 2000 figures had included a dorm with hundreds of students across from Town Hall, where an empty house actually stands. The bureau has released a corrected count, reducing Bertram's official population from 681 to 263.

That will have a significant impact on the amount of money Bertram will get in certain local tax revenue, including from a road-use tax that gives municipalities about $80 per resident.

The corrected count also matters a great deal to a nearby town that actually has a college with dorms -- Mount Vernon, home of Cornell College.

Because of the miscount, Mount Vernon says Bertram got about $25,000 in tax revenue that should have gone to Mount Vernon.

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