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‘Street listing’ available in book or CD versions

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GROTON — The town street listing, a valuable tool for local businesses and those contemplating a run for public office as well as citizens who want to keep track of friends and neighbors, has recently become available at the town clerk’s office.

The listing is available in traditional book form or as a compact disc. As a disc, the listing comes in two types — one contains a copy of the street listing book in a searchable (but non-changeable) “PDF” format and the other contains the street listing in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format that allows the user to sort and customize the street list data.

“The street listing is actually a popular book,” said town clerk Michael Bouchard. “It’s used by people who are just curious about who lives in town, who’s moved, and so forth; but businesses and political campaigns are also interested in it. The most use of the Excel version would be made by political candidates and businesses, who can sort the data in different ways for marketing purposes.”

Produced annually, the street listing contains entries for each homeowner in town, listing the names of all adults who reside at a particular address, the home’s street address, the year of birth of every adult living at that address, and what political party, if any, each person belongs to.

Exceptions to the information included in the street listing include minors and others such as public safety officials.

“The street listing is basically a compilation of the results of a town census which becomes a list of who lives in town, not including minors,” Bouchard explained. “The town does a census every year, as required by state law. By contrast, the federal government conducts its own census every 10 years. In fact, we’ve already started working on the federal census, which is to be completed by the spring of 2010. But for that, we rely more on the town listing for information; however, if more information is gathered for the federal census, we will include that in a future town listing.”

Bouchard said there were no unusual problems in collecting the needed information this year except the usual number of unreturned forms and address mix-ups that a little detective work or a phone call or two can solve.

“It takes several months to prepare the street listing,” Bouchard said. “We begin around the first of January, when we send out a census form to every household in Groton that we are aware of. From there, people send the forms back to us, sometimes with no changes or changes such as a child moving out or a divorce. When we get the forms back from residents, we use the information to update our system and then, come mid-April, we basically run our reports and have a vendor print out the street list book.”

Although having personal information listed in the book might seem a bit intrusive to some, being included does serve another important purpose. Registered voters who do not respond to the town census may be removed from the list of active voters.

“For that reason,” Bouchard noted, “we conduct a second mailing for those forms that we haven’t received back.”

Currently available at the town clerk’s office, the price of the street listing book and the CD-PDF versions are $15 each, while the price of the CD-Excel version, which includes a printed copy of the book, is $25.

Beyond a few advance copies on hand, the town clerk’s office will take orders for copies of the 2008 street listing, in order to help keep on-site inventory and waste to a minimum.

For more information or to order a copy, contact the town clerk’s office at (978) 448-1100 or visit townclerk@townofgroton.org.

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