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Belpre prepares for Census education effort

Representatives from the community participated in a census Complete Count ribbon cutting. From left, Jackson Plummer, Carly Bell and Chandler Cox, Belpre High School seniors; Cheryl, Wharff, Belpre Senior Center; Jeff Greenley, Belpre City Schools superintendent; Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz; Amber Kohler, partnership specialist, Philadelphia Regional Census Center; Karen Waller, executive director Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce; Jerry Craig, representing Rep. Bill Johnson; Janet Gilbert, Real Living McCarthy Real Estate; Michelle Brown, Washington County Job and Family Services; Bonnie McGowan, Belpre Senior Center; and Tim Gant, Belpre City Council. (Photo Provided)

BELPRE — The Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, the city of Belpre, the Belpre Complete Count Committee and the United States Census Bureau joined in a ribbon cutting on Jan. 30 to symbolically open the education phase of an effort to return a complete count from the 2020 Census.

Data from the census is important to local agencies, municipalities, schools, and emergency service organizations to acquire adequate funding. Businesses can utilize accurate data from the census to determine business location and expansion opportunities. The United States Census Bureau is preparing for the 10-year count to be conducted in 2020.

The event kicked-off the Belpre community’s effort to deliver census information vital to residents and the entire community, specifically to:

∫ Determine how many representatives each state gets in congress and to redraw district boundaries.

∫ Plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools and emergency services.

∫ Provide businesses information to determine where to open places to shop.

The Complete Count Committee consists of representatives from different segments of the community vital for the complete count, Karen Waller, chamber executive director, said.

The mission of the committee is to communicate the importance of the census, raise awareness of the census throughout the city, to motivate every household in the city by completing the questionnaire thoroughly and timely manner, and to increase the city’s self-response rate, according to 2020 Census promotional materials.

The 2020 United States Census will be the 24th United States Census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, will be April 1, 2020. This is the first U.S. census to offer options to respond online or by phone, in addition to the option to respond on a paper form as with previous censuses.

“An accurate count is very important to our community. Funding for libraries, schools, senior services, services to veterans and homeless populations, and other municipal programs and services depend on data coming from the census,” Waller said.

For more information, contact Waller at Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce 740-423-8934.

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