Tri-City Ledger -

By Joe Thomas
Ledger Editor 

Census numbers mean money or not

 

July 23, 2020



A U.S. census official said if if the 2020 census was over today, Alabama would likely lose two congressional seats and about $13 billion in federal dollars and that Florida wouldn't be far behind.

In the latest figures released by the census bureau July 15, Flomaton, Century and Jay are in a dead heat to finish last in the number of people who have self reported to the 2020 census.

The latest figures showed 61.1 percent of people in the United States had filled out a census report. In Florida, the figure drops to 60 percent and in Alabama it's 59.8 percent.

Debbie Nickles, town planner for Century and grant writer, said the lack of participation in the census could cause states, counties and cities to lose out on millions of federal dollars.

“It's very important to fill out the census forms,” Nickles said. “Those numbers will determine federal funding for states and towns for the next 10 years. They can also have a big impact on the number of congressional and legislative seats a state has.

“When you apply for grant money to address things like water, sewer, drainage and roads, whether or not a town gets that money largely depends on the census numbers,” she said.

As of July 15, 47.6 percent of Jay residents had completed a census form, followed by Flomaton at 46.7 percent and Century at 46.1 percent.

Escambia County, Fla., shows 59.2 percent and Escambia County, Ala., shows 57.0 percent.

In Escambia County, Ala., Brewton leads the way with 63.4 percent, followed by Riverview at 62.7 percent. Atmore shows 55.8 percent, East Brewton shows 54.5 percent, Pollard shows 54 percent and Flomaton is at 46.7 percent.

Paula Byrd, the former director of Century's Pensacola State College branch, is now working with the census and said the next wave will be for people to knock on doors to make sure people are filling out their census forms.

The 2020 census was originally set to be completed by April 1, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline has been moved back. Byrd said she's seen no definite date as to when the census counting will end.

Flomaton Mayor Dewey Bondurant, Jr., echoed Nickles' sentiments on the census saying the census numbers will have a great impact on the town's ability to seek Community Development Block Grants to address infrastructure needs in the town.

“There are very few towns that can afford to repair sewer lines and water lines or pave roads without grant money,” Bondurant said. “I beg everyone in Flomaton to fill out the census form. It determines how much money comes back to help you.”

To fill out a 2020 census form, go to http://www.my2020census.gov.

 
 

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