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Accurate population count key to securing federal dollars

Census 2

PEORIA (HOI) - Local leaders are trying to do all they can to make sure Heart of Illinois communities get their fair share of billions of dollars in federal funding.

That funding is based on a population count taken every 10 years. The census takes an in-depth at each community and its needs.

"Those are populations of people living in poverty, those are the Hispanic communities, those are the elderly, those are communities of color, those are individuals with disabilities, those are millennials," said Robin Grantham, a manager at Peoria Citizen's Committee for Economic Development.

Grantham said it's money down the drain for every person not counted.

"Every person that we don't count, we lose $1,400 for our county. In the last census, which was 2010, we had a participation rate of 79 percent, so that means that for those other 21 individuals who were not counted, we lost $1,400.

Speaking at an open house on Thursday, Grantham said there's a pool of $675 billion in federal funding for communities across the country. She said it's her mission to make sure Peoria County receives its fair share by getting an accurate count.

Howard Packowitz

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