Grayson County approves plan for more accurate census numbers

Published: Jan. 14, 2020 at 5:22 PM CST
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The Grayson County Commissioner's Court approved a plan Tuesday to get a more accurate count for the 2020 census.

County officials said they will count homeless people, jail inmates, and college students toward the census numbers.

They said the purpose is to help the county financially, because more people means more money from both the state and federal governments.

"Historically, an inaccurate count means an under count, which an under count means less dollars and less representation coming to your county," Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said.

Magers said they've partnered with the cities of Sherman and Denison.

They're using an outside company, Billow marketing, to create a "boots on the ground" platform to ensure more people are counted in the census numbers.

"In the last census in 2010, there were certain areas that just were not counted and so we want to make sure this time with boots on the ground that we get everybody accounted for whether you're homeless, a college student, in jail, or in certain neighborhoods maybe," County Commissioner Phyllis James said.

James said the county's last census had about 9,000 people less than the actual population.

Magers said the census has made changes, and he wants the county to benefit from them.

"The census changed their laws for instance, this year if you're an Austin College student and you reside in Grayson County, you count in Grayson County. In the past, you would count in your home county," Magers said.

The contract is $65,000.

Magers said the county is paying half, and the cities of Sherman and Denison are each chipping in.

"I just hope we get everyone accounted for because it will affect us not just for a year, it will affect Grayson County for ten years," James said.

Census documents will be sent out in late March.

People can fill them out online starting April 1.

This year, there's an option of mail-in and phone responses, with a deadline of July 24.