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It’s time to be counted: County hears Census update

9/03/09 (Thu)

By Stu Merry, BHG News Service

McLean County officials would like all residents to stand up and be counted. Doing so could put additional federal dollars in county, city and school coffers. Commissioners received a report from Barb Kaffar, partnership assistant with the U. S. Census Bureau, and Jodi Leidholm, local census office manager based out of Bismarck. Kaffar and Leidholm said $2,900 is available to the county to promote the census. The two said the key to a successful count is to get the word out, informing the public how filling out the form could be beneficial to them. Leidholm urged a countywide emphasis on making sure all residents are counted. One of the biggest concerns is counting the snowbirds. "We want them to be counted in North Dakota not in another state … if we miss 10 snowbirds, it is huge," she said. Kaffar noted initial response 10 years ago in McLean County was only 58 percent, which was low for North Dakota counties. With such a low response rate census officials were required to make personal contact.