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Rowan County readies for 2020 Census count

SALISBURY – Rowan County and some of its municipalities are preparing for the 2020 Census.

That preparation included the county commissioners on Monday and the City Council on Tuesday approving resolutions in support of the census.

“We’ve distributed this (resolution) to all the municipalities in the county in hopes that their town councils, commissioners and aldermen would show their support for the activities surrounding the 2020 Census,” Rowan County Planning Director Ed Muire said Monday. “Census Day is April 1. So it’s right around the corner.”

The county and some municipalities will host a census kickoff at 10 a.m. Thursday at the West End Plaza Events Center, located at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. It will encourage partnerships with local community organizations, Muire said.

Census data helps determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Among other things, it’s necessary for an accurate and fair redistricting of state legislative seats, county and city offices, and voting districts.

Information from the 2020 Census and American Community Survey is key for economic development and increased employment, too, according to the Rowan County Planning Department.

“There are a lot of things involved in this that impact us every day,” Muire said.

That includes an estimated $675 billion in federal funds for housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and other public policy matters.

The 2020 Census counts each and every person living in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Thursday’s kickoff is designed to promote participation through partnerships with businesses, government, community members, educational institutions, media and faith-based agencies and emphasize the importance of an accurate population county for Rowan County.

During Monday’s county commissioners meeting, Chairman Greg Edds thanked Muire for his work preparing for the census.

“He has reached out to a lot of folks involved in this,” Edds said.

The resolution approved by county commissioners and the City Council says the U.S. Census Bureau is required by the U.S. Constitution to conduct a complete count of the population that provides “a historic opportunity to help shape the foundation of our society and play an active role in American democracy.”

It also says the county is committed to ensuring every resident is counted, that federal and state funding is allocated to communities and that decisions are made on matters of national and local importance based, in part, on census data.

In other business from Monday’s county commissioners meeting:

• Commissioners approved a consent agenda, including the Public Health Department’s application for a Delta Dental Smiles for Kids grant to assist pregnant women with dental care and treatment.

The department requested an additional $5,000 for 2020 to continue outreach to residents in need of the service.

Other items on the consent agenda included a draft survey for Shelter Guardians’ new dog adoption center.

• The board approved an amendment to an agreement dated Oct. 1 with ADW Architects for design services at West End Plaza presented by County Manager Aaron Church.

The reason for the request was an additional scope of work sought by the county as a consulting engineering firm to provide geotechnical investigation services and reports, a consulting surveying company to provide CAD documents and a design office for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The agency is one of many slated to move into West End Plaza

The total fee for the amendment was $16,475.

• The board voted to have its annual planning retreat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 10.

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