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County officials remind locals to reply to census

Participating has direct impact on assistance program grants

LEWISTOWN — At Thursday’s Mifflin County Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Rob Postal reminded local residents of the importance of participating in the 2020 census, as it has a direct impact on grants to be received for assistance programs.

“It is important for our citizens to participate in the 2020 census and everybody that has not self-responded yet please do that,” Postal said. “If you have not received anything in the mail you will receive something at your residence. Pennsylvania has 62% self-responding. Mifflin County is doing better with a response rate of 63% and the county is led by Menno, Union and Brown townships at about 77%. That is great for the Big Valley area. Some of the other precincts are not doing as well they are below the 50% so let’s get this done.

“The more self-respondents we have the less the census needs to follow up at your residence. It is important that we get a complete count.”

In an update from Director of Emergency Management, Phil Lucas said, “We continue to have several difficulties in dealing with the statistics that are being provided by the department of health. Due to timeliness and inaccuracy sometimes, these numbers provided three days after they are posted by individual agencies. Other days there is misinterpretation issues as to how those numbers are provided to the public and the upper levels of government.

“The department of health on Wednesday had to postpone providing any numbers because they had a recognized error in how their data was being collected,” he said. “The state website that deals with various posting of information is also showing numerous errors. We are not sure at this time what the problem may be.”

Lucas also added the Centers for Disease Control did officially publish its reopen America guidelines.

“This is a 60-page document that we hope the state will be using to move forward with reopening PA now that it has been published,” he said.

Pam Powell, Director of Registration and Election said a number of voters are requesting mail-in ballots.

“So far we have received over 3,000 mail in applications and almost 1,300 of those have been returned. The sooner people turn in the applications the better,” she said. “The deadline to turn in a mail-in application for a ballot is May 26 at 5 p.m. The deadline to turn in the ballot at the courthouse is June 2 by 8 p.m. Only the voter may hand deliver their own ballot to the courthouse.”

Postal said the county is receiving calls about applications for mail-in ballots that people are getting by mail and wanted to clarify that those are not being sent out by the county.

Powell responded by saying, “There are groups out there from political parties that are sending out mail in ballot applications confusing voters because they think they are getting ballots or multiple chances to get a ballot. We do not ever send out anything to a voter unless it is to verity their voter record or they have requested that we send it.”

Other matters of business that were approved included:

¯ Provider agreement and consulting services with Avanco International Inc. for the Child Accounting and Profile system (CAPS) for the period from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, for a fee not to exceed $28,315.16.

¯ Continuation of the Victim of Crime Act grant for the period of Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2023, for $122, 069.00.

¯ Grant Agreements for the 2020 Election Security Funds and 2020 CARES Act.

¯ Resolution No. 37 of 2020 moving Derry Township 2019 CDBG funds from Kish Park Restroom Project to Housing Rehab.

New hires and resignations included:

¯ Aaron Goss hired for part-time corrections officer effective June 1, 2020.

¯ Levi Bender hired for part-time corrections officer effective June 8, 2020.

¯ Resignation of Children and Youth Caseworker Rachel Pastiloff effective June 19, 2020.

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