By Betsy Finklea
Herbert Jacobs of the Dillon County Census Counts Committee spoke to the Dillon County Council at a called meeting recently.
Jacobs is a 20+ year resident of Latta and Dillon County, and was representing a group of volunteers who are encouraging people to complete the census.
Jacobs said that the group was assisting individuals, organizations, and agencies to get information to the general public to help increase the census response rate.
He said higher numbers mean more money ultimately coming back to Dillon County. He said given the fact that we have an economic downturn due to COVID-19, the revenue coming to the treasury isn’t what it used to be.
Jacobs said this once in a 10-year opportunity is before us, and if we get our numbers up, it will help augment lost revenues.
Jacobs presented the council with handouts about the response rates relative to Dillon County the latest data on census internet counts, and the plans for September for the Dillon County Census Count Committee. He said they have been participating in food giveaways with RALI DCHI (Dillon County Health Initiative) and the LTRG (Long Term Recovery Group) by providing fliers and reminders to get people to participate. In addition, they have been providing a series of articles in The Dillon Herald to give people who read clarity on why they need to fill out the census and why it is important. He said they are trying to use every avenue available to get the word out and get the count up.
Jacobs said they had plans for some type of community activity in Lake View on September 19th. Also, on September 26th, the state has planned a grand event in each county where people will have an opportunity to get free flu shots, have COVID-19 testing, have a voter registration drive, and have people on site with electronic devices to help people get the census filled out.
He said in 2010, seven out of every 10 people in Dillon County were counted. He said they will be lucky to get 7 out of ten in 2020 because everything is so far behind.
Jacobs asked everyone going forward to put forth every effort to encourage people to fill out the census. They can do it through the website, the 1-800 number, or the paper forms if they still have it.
The deadline is September 30th.
If a census form is postmarked September 30th, it will be accepted until October 7th. Anything postmarked after September 30th will not be accepted.
Dillon County Council Chairman Stevie Grice said he encouraged everyone to complete the census and to turn it in by September 30th.
By Betsy Finklea