Fentress County’s Census response rate remains under 50 percent.
County Executive Jimmy Johnson said the county could miss out on much needed grant money if numbers do not increase.
“You got 18,000. Right there is 1.8 million dollars,” Johnson said. “So, if this continues, we might not be eligible for a million dollars in grant aids to come to the counties. It take cares of your roads and school systems.”
Johnson said Internet access and Covid are to blame for the low numbers. Many residents depend on door knockers to provide Census forms, Johnson said. But with the pandemic, people no longer go door to door.
“Not everyone owns a computer in Fentress County,” Johnson said. “They depend on door to door people and help. A lot of older people do not have vehicles. Door to door people really help increase numbers in rural counties.”
Clay and Pickett Counties joins Fentress as the three counties to remain under 50 percent. Johnson said private businesses and schools are starting to provide more forms for people. The county is also advertising to complete your Census.
Households in low-responding areas will receive emails from the U.S Census Bureau as a last campaign to increase response rates. $675 billion per year are spent on federal funds for schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.