San Marcos and the rest of Hays County are at risk of forging tens of millions of dollars in federal funds if residents do not complete their census forms at a higher rate, officials said during a press conference on Thursday, officially Census Day.
“It’s estimated that Hays County has added some 54,000 people since the last Census, and some estimates are upwards of 60,000,” said Hays County Commissioner Precinct 2 Jeff Barton. “We stand to lose some $1.9 million a year in federal funding for every one percent of those people not counted. And that will remain in effect for 10 years, until the next census.”
Said Narvaiz, “We don’t want anyone to be left out. The census determines our representation in Congress and census data provide the basis for economic and community planning for our future.”
Narvaiz noted concern that San Marcos’ participation rate was at 37 percent, lower than the national average of 52 percent, and said she was particularly concerned about ensuring that residents of multi-family and residential centers receive and return their forms.
“Apartment response so far is lower – 30 percent as of today – so we need Texas State University students and other apartment residents to fill out their forms and mail them,” she said.
Joining Barton and Narvaiz in encouraging residents to be counted and send in their forms were Comal County Pct. 1 Commissioner Donna Eccleston, Census bureau regional representative Sophia Azoubel, San Marcos Complete Count Committee Chair Daniel Guerrero and Hays County Complete Count Chair Laureen Chernow. Numerous Census volunteers and members of organizations that benefit from an accurate Census count also attended.
People who have questions about the census form or need a replacement form can go to an area Questionnaire Assistance Center (complete list at www.co.hays.tx.us) or call toll-free from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. any day of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays: