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Census Update (4/15/2010)

OLEAN – Mayor Linda Witte urges city residents to fill out and return 2010 Census forms by the end of April to avoid a visit from Census workers who will fan out over the city beginning in May. The workers will follow up in person to gather answers from the nearly one-third of city residents who haven’t yet returned their forms showing their home address as of April 1.

“The good news is our numbers are growing and we surpassed 70 percent,” said Mayor Witte, who last week challenged city residents to beat the 79 percent response rate tabulated in 2000.

The city has improved its 2010 Census Response Rate since April 6, when it was 67%. Today (new data arrived Tuesday) it is shown at 71%. Perhaps this was due to the initiative by Mayor Linda Witte and Olean Community Development Director Mary George, who manned a Census information booth at the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show last Saturday (April 10). Figures are updated every Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The duo said the attendees showed an overwhelming response. Mayor Witte still has a supply of pencils, pens and yard signs for anyone who would like to carry the message that a challenge is under way. Her goal is to attain a minimum 80% response rate.

The city’s four tracts are as follows (compared to last week’s rates shown in parentheses), with the Eastern still ahead but the Central showing the greatest improvement.

Central  66% (60%); Western 68% (65%); Northern 75% (71%); and Eastern 76% (71%)

This week’s countywide response rate in Chautauqua Co. is 70%, Cattaraugus is 66% and Allegany is 55%.