Complete count means money for local economy

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Census Day is six months away and that's important for community and economic development, according to an announcement made to Marshall County commissioners last week.

"We will be putting together some Complete Count Committees," Mike Wiles, executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board told commissioners at their monthly meeting on Sept. 28.

That's important because various sources of income, including those stemming from financial decisions based on market size, are a result of population as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau.

"The Census allows us to get more grants and programs," Wiles said. "We'll be asking all kinds of groups, committees and organizations to help us promote this.

"Anytime you can help people with their Census forms," Wiles said, "you can help your community."

April 1 is Census Day, he said. It's the one day every 10 years the Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the nation. Short and long forms are distributed and residents are asked to report how many people live in their homes. Other questions include the number of men, women, children and their ages. For those receiving the long form there may be questions about how long it takes them to drive to work.

Every 10 years, some people don't complete the forms and mail them in on the requested schedule. As a result, the Census Bureau has temporary jobs available across the nation. The people hired are census takers and they are sent to visit houses in their neighborhoods and nearby areas to see if the house is vacant, or find some other reason why census forms weren't completed and mailed to the bureau.

During May, June and July next year, census takers, also called enumerators, will be hired, Wiles explained to the county commissioners.

Wiles also reported that Marshal County was again declared a Three Star Community by Gov. Phil Bredesen in conjunction with the program administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. TDECD has a system of rating communities and that's used when decisions are made on grants and other state programs that are financially beneficial to local governments.