Steamboat Springs The 70-person-strong work force of Census 2010 is making its way to each home in Routt County as the push begins to get questionnaires to each house — and hopefully get them back.
Routt County is one of the few places in the nation where census workers go door to door throughout the county instead of mailing the questionnaires, and workers will continue their door-to-door trek until March 30.
Census spokesman Doug Wayland said people are urged to return the census as soon as possible, and the official census day is April 1.
According to census data, Routt County had a 51 percent response rate in 2000, and the state overall had a 70 percent response rate. Routt led Jackson County, with 40 percent; Grand County, with 33 percent; and Eagle, with 50 percent; but lagged behind Moffat County, with 67 percent; Rio Blanco County, with 62 percent; and Garfield County, with 68 percent.
The response rates can make big differences in federal funding, and Yampa Town Clerk Janet Ray is urging residents to return the census to help the town, which had a population of 443 people in the 2000 census.
“A lot of monies from federal and state levels … it has to do with population,” she said.
She said that information has been published in the town newsletter for several months and that there are notifications at the post office and town hall.
“It can definitely mean more dollars for the town,” Ray said.
Officials with the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team warn that census workers never will ask residents to use a Web site to fill out the census. The only way to fill out the census is on the paper questionnaire provided with a blue or black pen. Requests to go to Web sites may be scams to get personal information.
Wayland said census workers are working during daylight hours and will check back with residents if the census isn’t filled out.
“If we don’t get it mailed back, somebody will come to their doors again” starting in May, he said.