Showing up for the count
Preparedness for 2020 census stressed at CCCOG meeting
The Carbon County Council of Governments (CCCOG) met in Rawlins on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and heard Sarah Hutchins, Carbon County Planner, explain the importance of the 2020 Census deadlines and how they could affect county municipalities.
CCCOG completed the routine business of approving their Sept. 20 meeting minutes and the treasurer’s report.
The towns of Dixon, Baggs and Saratoga did not have representatives present for the second CCCOG meeting in a row.
Marla Brown, City Clerk for Rawlins said she went to Casper on Oct. 23 for a workshop on the 2020 Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA).
“It is not too early to start planning for the 2020 census was the message we got,” Brown said.
Brown said LUCA pointed out that missed or lost census counts costs municipalities up to $1,000-$1,200 per person a year. Because a census is only recorded every ten years, this can represent a large loss to municipalities.
Hutchins agreed and said towns should count empty homes since they could be occupied in the future, increasing per-person funding.
“Also businesses or commercial with living quarters, they should also be included,” Hutchins said.
Communities under 6,000 people have the option of doing their registration on paper. Municipalities over 6,000 must register digitally.
The Census Bureau provides mapping software for current addresses for towns on this project. The municipality can then check to make sure the information is right and correct it if wrong.
Hutchins and Brown stressed that the Dec. 15 deadline for LUCA registration was coming up soon and it was to a municipality’s advantage to be signed up.
“The LUCA program is verifying local data with federal data,” Brown said. “It is making sure that federal government sends out the census notices, with the most accurate data.”
Brown and Hutchins recommended municipalities make sure their town clerks had gotten the LUCA forms sent out several months ago.
The 5th Penny Tax board was able to get firmed up with more volunteers agreeing to represent their municipalities. Gwen Bartlett from Carbon County, Doreen Harvey from Encampment, Scott Hannum from Rawlins, Bob Patton from Hanna, Kenda Colman from Medicine Bow and Michelle Serres from Sinclair have agreed to serve on the board.
“We would like to have someone from every community to serve on this board if possible,” Steve Nicholson said, chairman of CCCOG.
The meeting schedule for CCCOG in 2018 was completed with the towns of Rawlins, Sinclair, Encampment, Riverside and Hanna penned to host next year’s meetings.
The next scheduled CCCOG meeting will be in Rawlins at 6:30 p.m. on Jan 17, 2018.