BURTON While the news from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Burton residents are responding to calls for everyone to complete their responses, numbers still aren’t where city officials would like them to be.
With millions of dollars in federal funding at stake, the city of Burton is calling on residents to get their responses to the U.S. Census in before the Sept. 30 deadline, or risk falling short in population like Burton did in 2010.
Mayor Duane Haskins told the Burton City Council Sept. 8 that the numbers are creeping up, but they are still a good 25 percent away from the goal of counting every residents in the city.
“We’re actually at 75.7 (percent) right now, which is 1.2 percent higher than we were 10 years ago,” said Haskins. “I can’t stress enough that that 75 percent still might not be enough. If there’s any way we can push these numbers up into the 80-85 percent bracket, if not even higher, it would be awesome.”
Haskins encouraged city council members to stay engaged with the community, keep talking to people and try to get them to partake in the 2020 Census.
As of right now, he said Sept. 30 is still the “drop-dead” date, but he said he knows there has been an effort by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other leaders to reach out to President Trump to get him to extend that deadline back out to Oct. 31.
“But that does not look like it’s going to happen,” said Haskins. “So, once again, I appreciate all the effort everyone is doing, we’ll keep pushing forward on that.”
Councilman Vaughn Smith said he spoke with a Census worker in his neighborhood talked and he said she told him the numbers in Burton are up.
“What we’re doing, it’s making a difference,” said Smith. “I did hear we would receive the $18,000 per year (per resident) at our current level.”
In 2010, the city fell short by one person to make it to 30,000 residents, which would have placed it in a higher funding bracket for federal money. This year, city officials have done everything possible to educate the public about the Census and have been encouraging people to respond.
“I’m hoping all we’ve done is going to have a positive impact on this,” said Smith, who has spearheaded the city’s efforts to educate the public about the 2020 Census.
For more about the Census visit www.census.gov or call Smith at 810-516-9614.