• 34°

County receives $40K grant to aid with census

With the 2020 census quickly approaching, Franklin County is receiving $40,000 to go toward increasing participation in the census.

The $40,000 grant comes through the Alabama Education Trust Fund from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

The grant was given to counties in Alabama where participation in the previous census was low.

“In Franklin County, we only had an estimated participation rate of 73 percent in 2010. Our goal in 2020 is 90 percent,” said Rep. Jamie Kiel in a press release. “It is important that we count everyone so we receive needed state and federal funding for our schools and roads and in other areas that we receive funding.

“In addition,” Kiel added, “legislative lines will be redrawn according to the census count, and we want to be sure Franklin County is properly represented.”

Grant writer Susan Hargett said Franklin County was fortunate to be selected to receive the grant and was one of the few entities that received the maximum amount of $40,000.

“This grant enables Franklin County to have extra manpower and avenues to ensure opportunities for all people to be counted,” Hargett said. “This will ensure Franklin County gets their fair share of federal funding for our schools and services for residents.”

Franklin County Census Committee Chairman Richard Rowland said the goal for this year’s census is to create unity in the community.

“Good neighbors watch each other’s backs,” Rowland said. “Doing the 2020 Census is giving your neighbors a helping hand as well as serving yourself. A unified community works together. Working together gives us more strength in common purpose.

“This is an enormous step. Others will follow.”