Census takers will be hitting the streets on May 1, visiting those addresses from which no census form has been returned.
They will be collecting data, as to who has not returned their forms and will be available to complete that process if necessary. Rental and vacant properties will be duly noted.
The money to Archuleta County that hangs on a complete as possible count is staggering. For every resident who is not counted, the loss to the county is $880 per year. For a family of four, the amount is $3,520. In 10 years, that amounts to over $35,000. That is for just one family that is not counted.
These funds support a myriad of public services to our citizens, like schools, school lunches, scholarships, libraries, construction, highways, transportation, unemployment insurance, medicaid and many others.
Political representation also relies on census data for redistricting.
In 2000 it was estimated that 46 percent of the county was not counted. You do the math! As of this week, 42 percent of county residents had returned their census questionnaires.
National leaders of all persuasions have urged citizens to be counted, reiterating that it is easy, it is safe and it is important.
There is still time for Archuleta County residents to get census questionnaires returned. If you lack a form or have questions, you can wait for the census taker to come to your door, or you can call (866) 872-6868, en español (866) 928-2010. Locally, you can also call Martha Suarez at 689-2055.