Macomb officials stress importance of 2020 Census count

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Efforts are underway to make sure Macomb residents are counted in the upcoming 2020 census on April 1.

Macomb Community Development Coordinator John Bannon said there are several reasons why it’s important for everyone to be included in the count.

Bannon said the City of Macomb receives about $150 annually per person from the State of Illinois in Motor Fuel Tax and other funds. He said that means an extra thousand people brings $1.5 million in additional funds for road resurfacing into the community over the coming decade.

There is a bigger reason why officials need as many people counted locally. He said the State of Illinois receives about $1500 annually per person in federal funds that are used for roads, schools, libraries, health, social services and many other programs. If there are fewer people counted for in Illinois, that means fewer funds. He said a recent local example of this type of program is the Safe Routes to School grant the city was awarded to improve the safety crossing on Grant Street by Macomb High School.

“Illinois has lost population and will lose one or two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives depending on the 2020 Census,” Bannon said.

Bannon said appropriate funding and resources from the federal government are more likely depending on how significant numbers are within the census data. Bannon also said economic development can be impacted by the census count. It frequently involves concepts such as labor sheds and drive-time areas.

“When our census counts go up, it is easier to recruit factories, stores and restaurants to Macomb,” Bannon said. “Conversely, lower Census counts make it more challenging to recruit businesses to the area.”

The Macomb Census Complete Count Committee said the steps are simple to complete the census process. It starts off by each residence receiving a letter. Included will be a URL (web address) and a unique identifier tied to a specific address. If you lose the letter, you can still enter your address instead of the unique identifier. Everyone can go online, enter and go to the URL, and then enter their unique identifier (attached to their address) to bring up the questions. Every person living at a residence can be included.

People can also call the Census Bureau and fill out the 2020 Census verbally.