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Island residents need to respond to 2020 Census

Island residents have been slow to respond to the 2020 Census count. According to Kurt D. Wesolek, who oversees twelve tracts in Ottawa County, the Put-in-Bay tract has the lowest response rate, with just over 10%. Ottawa County is the lowest in the state at just under 40%, and the state of Ohio as a whole is at 55%.

Kurt understands that there are a lot of summer homes and cottages on Put-in-Bay. Still, he says those have been taken into consideration, and the 10% response rate is taken from their actual figure of 188 permanent households on the islands. Based on the latest census estimates (for 2014-2018), 355 people live in 188 homes in the Put-in-Bay tract, and 24 people live in group quarters, with a total population of 379.

How the 2020 Census Helps You

The results of the 2020 Census will assist in determining how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, regardless of size or location.

Think your morning commute: The 2020 Census results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems. Or think of your local Put-in-Bay schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grants that support teachers and special education.

The list goes on, including programs to support rural areas, restore wildlife, prevent child abuse, prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults. Census results affect infrastructure planning and funding—including highway planning and construction programs, Section 8 housing, federal transit, community development, and rural water and waste disposal systems.

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