Census mailing deadline is today (April 16)

U.S. residents have until the end of the day today to drop their U.S. Census forms in the mail, or they will get a home visit from a local census worker.

The Western Slope Census workers hired to follow up with people that have not turned in their census forms by today’s deadline will begin knocking on doors in May.

Although 71 percent of Mesa County residents turned in their forms as of Thursday, local government bodies want to raise that participation rate to 100 percent. That’s the only way agencies in the county can get an appropriate share of federal dollars for the next 10 years, according to Judy Thornburg, executive director of student services for School District 51.

“The population count is the basis for many grants the school district can apply for,” Thornburg said at a census news conference Thursday at City Hall.

Population counts also can guide development, Mayor Bruce Hill said.

“Some developers won’t even look at certain communities if they’re not a certain size. We don’t want to miss out because not everyone was counted,” he said.

Hill stressed the 10-question census form is short, and all information is confidential.

Census population counts help determine how much federal funding is sent to communities for bridges, roads, public safety and public health, Mesa County Health Department spokeswoman Kristy Emerson said.

“More people means more money and ultimately means more services for you,” she said.


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