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A Time to be Counted

It is time to stand up and be counted. The United States is now conducting the 2010 Federal Census. Mandated by the Constitution, the Federal Census is conducted every 10 years and counts every man, woman and child living in the United States, both citizens and non-citizens alike.

"It is very important for every household in Milford to return a completed Federal Census form," said Town Clerk Amy Hennessy Neves. "By being counted, townspeople ensure that we get the proper funding for our schools, health system, roads and more." It is estimated that the results of the 2010 Census will help communities across the country receive more than $400 billion in federal funds and will go towards projects such as schools, senior centers, hospitals, public works, and emergency services. Census data also determines Congressional Districts and how each community is represented in Congress.

Federal Census forms were sent out in mid-March and should have been delivered last week to every home in Milford. Residents who did not receive a Federal Census form are urged to call 1-800-923-8282. Braille and large print forms are also available on request and a TDD program for the hearing impaired may be accessed at 1-866-783-2010. Additionally, census forms in six languages – English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese Korean and Russian – are available at the Milford Town Library.

A total of 10 questions are on the forms and should take residents only 10 minutes to complete. "It is a very easy form which should be very easy to complete," said Neves. The information asked includes giving the number of people living in a home, whether the property is owned or rented, names, telephone numbers, race, dates of birth, and more. A complete list of all questions and why they are asked can be accessed at THE US CENSUS BUREAU.

According to officials, all individual census responses are protected by law. U.S Census Bureau employees have taken an oath to protect confidentiality and are subject to a jail term and/or a fine for disclosing any information that could identify a respondent or household. It is also illegal for the U.S. Census Bureau or its employees to share personal information from respondents with anyone including government agencies such as law enforcement, the IRS, Welfare, the FBI or Immigration. No court of law can access individual responses.

While everyone is being urged to return their completed census form as soon as possible, April 1 is National Census Day, when officials are urging all residenys to return their completed census form.

Each census mailing includes a postage-free return envelope to make returning the forms easy. Residents who would like help filling out their forms have two local sites where census staff members will be available –Paderia Brazil, 173 Main St. from 3 to 6 p.m. daily and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, and the Milford Youth Center, 24 Pearl St. from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Additional help is available by calling 1-866-872-6868.

Those residents who choose not to return their census forms can expect a knock at the door from a census taker any time between April and July. Each census taker will have a photo ID, which will identify them as working for the Federal Census.

Those interested in following response rates to the census across the country can access the information at THE US CENSUS BUREAU.


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