Census count could cost cash

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 4, 1999

One of the first things children learn in school is basic arithmetic – counting, if you will. And little do we realize just how important that simple concept can become at times.

Even the simplest of things can quickly become complex issues if we don’t count things right. It’s a costly lesson Concordia Parish police jurors learned last week.

The police jury heard from a Louisiana census specialist who believes that since an estimated 428 parish residents were not counted in the 1990 census the parish lost more than $1 million in federal and state grants. And it’s likely that similar losses occurred on this side of the river as well.

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It’s hard for many folks to believe, but the upcoming census is more important than just a simple head count of residents.

The census ultimately helps our community in a variety of ways.

Census figures often play a role in getting federal and state money to help fund schools, public health, safety, transportation and a variety of other community needs.

And there’s no reason that each and every resident in the Miss-Lou doesn’t stand up to be counted as a part of our community. The census only takes a few minutes and the benefits of it can be felt for decades – literally.

Hindsight always being crystal clear, think of the myriad of things Concordia Parish could have spent the $1 million on if it had it. And what’s more frustrating is that the grant money may have just gone unused instead of being put to use in our community.

And it’s all just a matter of simple mathematics.