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Accurate census vital to county, leaders say

County leaders say an accurate 2010 census is vital for Chilton County’s future.

To prepare for the once-in-a-decade count, the Chilton County Commission and the U.S. Census Bureau will hold a planning meeting Tuesday morning in Clanton.

Officials from city and county government, education, local businesses, faith-based and community organizations, and the media will meet at the Alabama Power Company at 10 a.m.

County Administrator Vanessa Hendrick said it’s important that everyone in Chilton County be counted in next year’s census.

“Everybody needs to be counted, so we can get all the help that is available,” said Hendrick. “The count determines how much federal funds are distributed to our county.”

Hendrick said census data is used to:

Distribute more than $300 billion in annual federal funds.

Determine eligibility for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.

Redraw legislative districts.

Improve programs and services in the fields of education, healthcare, transportation, social services and emergency response.

Part of Tuesday’s meeting will help set up a Complete Count Committee. The CCC will devise a plan to raise awareness about the census and increase participation.

For more information, visit 2010.census.gov.