ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWNY) - In 13 St. Lawrence County towns, more than half of people didn’t fill out census forms. Now, there’s a mad dash to get it done.
In every corner of the county, from Massena to Hammond to Piercefield – and all the places in between – they want everyone counted. And it has to be done pronto.
“If you haven’t filled out the census yet, you have until September 30. That’s it,” said John Tenbusch, county planner and Complete County Committee member.
Local officials say it’s important. Federal funding for roads, education and other needs are tied to the census count for each community.
“Many of our funding sources will be tied directly to our population base. Please do it,” said Jeremy Thompson, town of Fine deputy supervisor.
There are low response rates in some towns. Those rates count all the people who either went online or sent in paper forms. Since summer, census takers have been knocking on doors.
“Census data has enabled us to write housing rehabilitation grants for … Star Lake, for Newton Falls, for the Oswegatchie Trail and also to build this community center right here in Star Lake,” said Tenbusch.
Tenbusch has been delivering tote bags and census instruction books to schools this week. There are ads on buses and postcard reminders going out.
If you haven’t completed a census form, you’re asked to call 844-330-2020. You may have to wait awhile to get a real person, but officials say it’s worth the wait.