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Oak Harbor trails in Whidbey census race

Residents of Oak Harbor have fallen behind Coupeville and Langley in compliance rates for the 2010 Census.

As of Thursday afternoon, only 52 percent of Oak Harbor residents had completed and returned their census forms. Fifty-seven percent of Coupeville residents and 61 percent of Langley residence have complied with the census requirement, according to the census Web site at http://2010.census.gov.

Overall, 55 percent of Island County residents have returned their census forms so far. That compares to 52 percent of the state and 54 percent of the nation.

During the last census, Island County had a pretty dismal compliance rate of 59 percent when all the counting was done. That meant the county missed out on a significant amount of grant money, which is often based on census data. Each uncounted person amounts to a loss of about $1,400 a year, according to the county’s Complete Count Census Committee.

April 1 was National Census Day. Responses to census questionnaire should include everyone who is living at the household as of April 1, which also happens to be April Fool’s Day.

All residents should have received the short, 10-question survey form in the mail. For those who haven’t received one, lost it or need help filling one out, a number of question assistance centers have been set up on the island. They are staffed by census workers. Here’s the list of the sites:

• Freeland Library, 5495 Harbor Ave., Freeland. The center runs until April 19, 2010 and is open for various hours. Contact the library at 360-331-7323 for more information.

• Skagit Valley College, Oak Harbor Hall, 203 1900 SE Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. The center runs through April 19 and is open for various hours. Contact the college at 360-675-6656 for more information.

•The Island County Economic Development Council, 180 NW Coveland St., Coupeville. The center runs through April 15 on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

• St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 185 N. Oak Harbor St. in Oak Harbor. The center runs through April 19 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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