FLORENCE — The city of Florence is serious about getting as many residents as possible to complete their 2020 U.S. Census form, and is making it as simple as getting a shaved ice at a drive-thru.
For the next three Mondays, the city is offering curbside assistance for residents to fill out the Census survey. The events are 5-7 p.m. each day.
They take place at Royal Avenue Recreation Center this Monday; Broadway Recreation Center on Aug. 3; and W.C. Handy Recreation Center on Aug. 10.
Officials said the Census takes only a few minutes to complete, and participants in the drive-thru offer are rewarded with a free Kona Ice for adults and kids alike.
Mayor Steve Holt said it is important to be counted individually and as a city. However, he said less than 65% of the city's residents have completed the form.
"This is so crucial for us," Holt said during a recent online plea. "The money that comes back to us from the federal government because of our head count is totally reliant upon that individual head count. Just under $1,600 per person is the value of the federal government dollars coming back to our local community."
"That may go to school system breakfasts or lunches. It may go to Medicare, it may go to street paving. It could go to 30 or 40 other items."
Census estimates state Florence has approximately 39,800 residents.
"The Census form is very short and very simple," Holt said. "The enumerators for the Census Bureau will probably start in August going door to door. If you don't want anybody knocking on your door let me encourage you again to participate in this head count."