In a town considered by the U.S. Census Bureau to be a rural community, Nathan Scott represents Green Mountain Falls on the Pikes Peak Complete Count Committee.
“Hopefully, the census organization has a strategy to reach out to hard-to-count areas — but that involves mailing,” Scott said, speaking at the Board of Trustees’ meeting Jan. 7.
However, mail arrives via P.O. boxes to residents of Green Mountain Falls and census forms are only mailed to street addresses. “We need to get the word out so that people will fill out the online forms as quickly as possible,” Scott said.
If residents fail to check the boxes after each address, there are consequences. “They will start coming to people’s houses,” Scott said.
As a result, Scott advised Mayor Jane Newberry and the trustees to have materials available for the public or send notices out to the residents.
According to census.gov, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin mailing notices, in staggered waves, March 1. The deadline to respond is April 1.
Newberry and trustees Tyler Stevens, Margaret Peterson and Katharine Guthrie discussed holding a potluck supper at the Sallie Bush Community Building to encourage participation and offer help with online responses, the date to be announced.
According to the census website, failure to fill out the form can result in $100 fine and giving false answers could generate a fine up to $500. For people who give information that causes harm, the fine could be up to $1,000 or a year in prison or both.
Census data is crucial for determining how many congressional representatives each state gets, states the website. The data are often used to determine how much federal funding is allocated for important projects and services for local communities.
The next meeting of the board of trustees will be 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at Town Hall, 10615 Green Mountain Falls Road (80819).