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Cass County Board: 2020 census to be focus of new committee

TURTLE LAKE TOWNSHIP—The Cass County Board Tuesday, May 21, appointed all county department heads to a new Census 2020 Complete Count Committee to plan and conduct educational initiatives about the importance of everyone responding to the 2020 census.

Without a complete count, Minnesota likely would lose one congressional district and would stand to lose federal funding. The census counts the number of residents nationwide.

In fiscal year 2016, Minnesota received about $15.5 billion in federal funds based on its 2010 census population reporting.

This included money for a wide range of programs including support for low income people, highway construction, education grants, school breakfasts and lunches, hospitals, business loans, child care, victims' services, rural water and waste systems, substance abuse programs, services for the aging and housing loans.

The county committee will focus on public information to encourage everyone to participate and will provide training sessions for federal census takers about easy access now available on the county website for information that will be helpful for them to make their count easier.

County Administrator Joshua Stevenson said the U.S. Census Bureau will hire 50 census workers this year and another 500 in 2020 for Cass County alone.

The Census Bureau pays workers here $14 per hour, he said. Anyone interested in becoming a census taker can sign up on the Census Bureau website starting this summer.

Stevenson expects the 2020 census will result in enough population shifts in Minnesota that redistricting will be required for the state legislative districts and county commissioner districts.

The first U.S. census was in 1790.