• 54°

Census is coming, make it count

You can help your community get its piece of a $400 billion dollar pie with an investment of just 10 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 2010 Census will be used to determine how federal funds are distributed each year for things like schools, hospitals, job training and senior centers in places like Butler, Crenshaw and Lowndes counties.

A straightforward and simple 10-question form will steer funding for emergency services, bridges, tunnels and other public works projects. It will create data used by businesses to evaluate new opportunities in communities like ours.

When the census form shows up in your mail, all you have to do is fill it out and send it back. And it’s well worth your time to do so.

Census data has more than just an economic impact. It’s also a critical part of the process that determines how you are represented in local, county, state and federal government.

The official count has already begun, with the first American counted this week in Alaska. Census Director Robert Groves rode a dog sled to visit the first name on the list in a small Eskimo village there. The kickoff included dancing and other festivities.

Things will go somewhat differently when the count begins in South Alabama around mid-March. Census workers got an early start in Alaska due to challenges presented by the state’s unique climate, geography and demographics.

Local residents shouldn’t expect to see dog sleds parked in their front yard, and most can avoid an in-person visit by simply returning the census form shortly after it arrives in the mail.

For more information, visit 2010.census.gov.

The official Web site for the 2010 Census includes a preview of the 2010 census form.