POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commissioners were updated on this year’s United States Census count, signed a proclamation for heart health month and recognized the fair’s Miss Congeniality during their meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Dreama Pritt with the United States Census Bureau spoke to commissioners about the importance of getting everyone counted in the 2020 Census. Pritt said that in mid-March, postcards will be sent as the first attempt to contact every household. The postcards will prompt people to self-report, which can be done online, by mail or over the phone. Pritt said the postcards, and other U.S. Census mail, can only be sent to a physical house address, not a post office box. Households that receive their mail at the post office will be hand-delivered a postcard and other information.
Pritt said April 1 is the official Census day, but counting will going on before and after. Pritt said that if a household does not respond after four or five times, a Census employee will go to the home to attempt to count the residents.
The Census count is the official population count for 10 years. Roughly $675 billion government funds are allocated based on Census data. The Census also determines House of Representative seats, local redistricting and other grant funding.
Pritt said the Census Bureau is still hiring and will be for several months. According to Pritt, there are still 8,000 applications needed for the state. Jobs can be found at 2020census.gov/jobs.
In other business:
Commissioners signed a proclamation for Holzer Health System declaring February “Heart Health Month.”
The commissioners also recognized Mason County Fair Miss Congeniality Mariah Nowlin during their meeting. Nowlin was unable to be at the commissioners meeting in the fall when other fair royalty were recognized due to medical reasons.
The commissioners approved the hire of Alan Moran for the litter control officer, which is grant funded for $3,000.
The commissioners discussed paying a grant writer $1,000 per month to replace the previous person they contracted with. The offer is being considered.
In her report, County Clerk Diana Cromley said the voting and ballot machines are being checked and provided with maintenance.
The commission hired Ashley Kaylor for the day report center.
In his report, County Administrator John Gerlach reminded commissioners the budget making process is beginning in March.
Gerlach said he has contacted an engineer about the sewer at the 4-H camp. The sewer needs structural repairs and will need to be pumped and cleaned to fix the issues.
Commission President Rick Handley said the Mason County Health Department will have a public forum on March 2 at 6 p.m. to discuss medical cannabis.
The next meeting for the Mason County commission will be March 12 at 4 p.m.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.