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LIBRARY: Gavel

BRANCHVILLE -- Renwick McNeil of the U.S. Census Bureau in Columbia recently urged the Branchville Town Council to appoint a complete-count committee to make sure the town gets everyone in the community counted correctly in the 2020 census.

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“Our goal is to count everyone ... in the right place and only once,” he said. “We need your help to do that.”

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Population impacts the reapportionment of Congress and more than $675 billion that the U.S. gives out annually to states, McNeil said. The Census Bureau wants to make sure the town and state receive their fair share of the money.

Mayor Frank Dickson noted that Branchville understands the need for a correct count. Last year, the town applied for a grant and found it lacked half a percentage point in population to get the money. The town had to go through another count of its population in order to get the grant.

McNeil reported that once Branchville appoints the committee, the Census Bureau will send someone to Branchville to train the members to go out and count people.

Citizens do not need to be afraid that their information will be released to anyone, McNeil said. It’s secure and will be protected for 72 years.

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“We only release numbers,” he said. “We don’t release personal data.”

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Failing to protect people’s private information could result in the loss of your job, prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000, he said.

McNeil reported that for the first time ever, the 10-year census will be online. A paper version of the census will also be available for those not computer inclined but will be offered later in the census process, he said.

McNeil said the Census Bureau is currently hiring. People can go online and apply, he said.

In other business, council approved spending $650 to advertise in the Tri County Booklet and $150 to participate in The Times and Democrat’s county map.

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Council also approved paying $185 per car to G.W. Window Tinting of Summerville to tint the windows of both of the town’s police cars.

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Contact the writer: dlinderaltman@gmail.com

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