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Census office opens in Stockbridge

Special photo
Officials who helped the Stockbridge office of the U.S. Census Bureau cut the ribbon on its new office Friday, included (from left) Linda McWhorter, area manager, the Census Bureau; Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton; Henry County Commission Chairman Elizabeth "BJ" Mathis, and Susan Burnore, local Census office manager.

Special photo Officials who helped the Stockbridge office of the U.S. Census Bureau cut the ribbon on its new office Friday, included (from left) Linda McWhorter, area manager, the Census Bureau; Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton; Henry County Commission Chairman Elizabeth "BJ" Mathis, and Susan Burnore, local Census office manager.

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

The U.S. Census Bureau's Stockbridge Local Census Office held an open house on Friday, inviting community members and local officials to attend a tour of the facility.

The office, at 258 East Atlanta Road, will serve Henry, Clayton, Butts, Newton, Rockdale and Spalding counties, according to Susan Burnore, the Stockbridge Local Census Office manager.

"This office will be responsible for all aspects of the 2010 census in all of these counties," she said. "Our purpose is to get out the census message, and let them know it is coming."

Census questionnaires are due to be mailed out between March 15 and March 17, said Burnore. From March 17 through mid-April, questionnaire assistance centers will be open in various locations throughout the six-county area.

Burnore said the Stockbridge Local Census Office will be a base of operations for the employees hired to help conduct the census, and will not be open to the public. Applications for census workers are still being accepted, she added.

"Right now, we have about 50 people in this [Stockbridge] office," said Burnore. "At our peak time in April, we'll have over 1,000 people in the field."

Every person not counted in a community costs that community $13,000 in federal funding over a 10-year period, she said.

"It determines our representation in the U.S. Congress," Burnore said. "It also determines how $400 billion in federal funds is distributed every year."

Each completed census questionnaire mailed back saves the U.S. government $70, Burnore added. That figure is based on the cost to pay one census worker to make a trip to the home to obtain the census information in person, she said.