The 2010 U.S. Census is expected to bump Canal Winchester from village to city status, something Mayor Mike Ebert said local officials are "ready to wrap our arms around."

The 2010 U.S. Census is expected to bump Canal Winchester from village to city status, something Mayor Mike Ebert said local officials are "ready to wrap our arms around."

The Canal Winchester charter has been "all laid out" in preparation for cityhood, Ebert said.

After 2010, newly elected council members will be city rather than village council members and the mayor will be a "city" mayor, he said.

"The governor will read a proclamation and declare us an official city of Ohio," Ebert said.

The proclamation will be forwarded to council, but takes effect 30 days after the governor reads it. Ebert has been told the proclamation will be read in the last quarter of 2010, or near the first of the year in 2011.

"We look forward to becoming a city," he said. "Hopefully, we become one of the best cities in the state of Ohio."

In order to adhere to state requirements for Ohio cities, Canal Winchester is changing its accounting and inventory practices.

"It's a requirement from the state," public works director Matt Peoples said.

Officials are also preparing for the day when the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will hand over maintenance responsibilities for Gender Road to Canal Winchester.

"We would take full responsibility for maintenance and improvements, except for bridges," Peoples said.

ODOT will still resurface the road every seven to 10 years, he said.Canal Winchester will also be responsible for plowing snow on Gender Road, though village workers have helped with that chore for years. Canal Winchester will also get more control over traffic light signals on Gender Road.

When asked how much the new oversight duties will cost, Peoples had a one-word answer: "More," he said, chuckling.

In short, he and other officials don't yet know.

"And we don't get anything in return. No additional revenue," he said.

As far as municipal services are concerned, Peoples said when the village becomes a city, "as far as I'm concerned, nothing changes from what we do today. We will continue the services residents expect today."

As of mid-April, 75 percent of village residents had filed census forms. Census workers will soon begin knocking on the doors of local residents who haven't mailed in the questionnaires.

"From my understanding, they will keep knocking until someone answers," Ebert said.Getting everyone in the village counted will help in planning for the future city, he said.

"The information and data they collect will be used to determine the location for housing and retail and schools and a lot more," he said. "Say there are a couple hundred preschool kids out there. Knowing that helps the school district in their planning and local government planning, too."

No matter what Canal Winchester is called a village or a city the community feel will remain constant, Ebert said.

"Canal Winchester has had controlled growth for years. That's something that will continue," he said. "We don't want to grow overly fast. People have moved here for a small-town feel. And we'll try to keep that small-town feel for as long as we can."