The Sept. 30 deadline to fill out census information is nearing. Officials say an accurate report is crucial in determining the disbursement of state and national funds.
Lehigh Acres has typically had one of the lowest response levels for the census, but according to the count committee that focuses on this area, 2020’s numbers are 5% to 25% higher than those recorded in 2010, despite the pandemic.
Gwen Gittens, a member of the count committee as well as a Lee County School Board member, explained why increasing the local response level was so important.
“It is so, so, so important to our community — for schools, for roads, for veterans’ affairs, for United Way, for food, for all types of things,” Gittens said.
“For example, we have to pay, as a school board, for things like protective equipment and all of that, and everything we have to do to keep kids safe. And we’re trying to budget and juggle that as to how much has to come out of our budget.”
Whether it’s fixing roads, virus-proofing our schools or getting federal money after a hurricane, she said, numbers count, and we only have one chance every decade to get it right.