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Conway’s plea: Fill out the U.S. Census form

The Park Rapids City Council hears an update about the local response rates to the 2020 U.S. Census.

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While Hubbard and Clearwater counties are not among the lowest bracket of response rates to the U.S. Census, Conway noted, they are among seven Minnesota Counties where the self-response rate to a census questionnaire is 50 percent or less.
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The Park Rapids City Council received a local progress report Tuesday about the 2020 U.S. Census.

As a city representative on the Hubbard County Complete Count Committee, Council member Tom Conway reported that Hubbard County is one of only two counties (along with Clearwater) in which only 41-50 percent of households have responded to the census questionnaire. Only five counties, including Cass and Mahnomen, fall into a lower bracket of self-response rates.

While the city of Park Rapids itself has a self-response rate of 70.5 percent as of Sept. 2, this is still behind the statewide average of 74 percent. Meanwhile, parts of the county score lower, with the countywide average at 48 percent.

“The census has been running since April, and we have until Sept. 30,” he said – referring to the date when census takers will finish following up on non-responding households.

“This is a plea to ask people to fill out their census forms,” Conway said, noting that census data will determine the number of Congressional seats representing Minnesota. how much federal and state funding reaches Hubbard County, what services the city and county can provide and how much residents will be taxed for those services.

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According to an “updated census timeline” distributed to the council, owners of a lake cabin or vacation home must also complete the census for that address, even if zero people usually live there. Residents can respond to the census online at my2020census.gov, by calling 844-330-2020 or by mailing in a census form.

Conway also reported that at its closed session on Aug. 25, the city council evaluated City Administrator Ryan Mathisrud’s performance after one year in the position.

“It was determined at that closed session that Mr. Mathisrud meets the expectations that were set forth by the council,” said Conway.

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Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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