2020 Census Plan begins

By Becky Brewster

Culberson County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, May 13. Roque Aguon, a partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, was on hand to brief the Court on the timeline for the 2020 census. Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution mandates that the “enumeration” shall be completed every ten years. Aguon noted that the Census Bureau is in the process of opening area census offices and hiring employees. According to www.2020census.gov/jobs , the pay rate for a census taker position in Culberson County is $15.50/hour plus mileage and expenses. Aguon stated that the reasons for the census are “power, knowledge and money.” The results of the 2020 Census will help determine each state’s representation in Congress, be used for redistricting, and determine the flow of federal dollars to each state. The data will also be used in planning and in organizational decisions. For the first time ever, the 2020 census will be primarily focused on self-response via the internet. Door-to-door follow-up will track down hard-to-count populations that may not respond on the internet. Aguon was quick to point out that “the U.S. Census Bureau does not cooperate with law enforcement in any way,” acknowledging that some populations are fearful of responding to the census. West Texas has been traditionally undercounted in the past. Culberson County will be forming a “Complete Count Committee” later this year to help the residents of Culberson County understand the importance of the census and how our community is impacted by the final numbers.

Commissioners also approved an interlocal agreement with Blue Origin and Fire-Med Training Services to allow them to use the County’s radio frequencies to have access to dispatch. Fire-Med has been providing training at Blue Origin and in the County. At the present time, Blue Origin has an emergency response team (ERT) with 3 EMTs and 8 ECAs on staff. This agreement will allow the ERT to communicate with local law enforcement, fire department and hospital in case of an emergency. Blue Origin and the Culberson EMS recently completed an “All Hazard’s Disaster Response” Course conducted by Fire-Med.

Cody Davis reported that the Culberson County/Town of Van Horn Emergency Management Plan has been approved by the State.

In other County business, the Court also:

Proclaimed May 2019 as Fair Housing Month.

Approved reallocation of funds for training for the Treasurer and JP #1 Clerks.

Approved carpeting in the District Courtroom.

Held an executive session with no action taken.

Heard reports on various County Projects.

Approved monthly reports.

Approved monthly payroll and expenses for April.

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