JUNEAU (AP) -- With millions of dollars at stake, city officials are pushing local residents to return the census forms that eventually will bring federal money into the city's coffers.
In the 1990 Census, Juneau's population was undercounted by 3,000 people, said Brad Marshall, planning supervisor with the city's Community Development Department.
Each resident counted brings about $1,000 per year into city coffers, Marshall said.
Multiply 3,000 people by $1,000 by 10 years and you get $30 million.
Preliminary results show that Juneau leads Alaska's cities in response rate to the 2000 Census. As of Tuesday, 21 percent of local residents had filled in and returned the census forms they found in their mailboxes.
''We've had good response so far, but, in a nutshell, we want to keep it going,'' Marshall said. Among the undercounted, the homeless, Native Americans and ethnic minorities often loom large, he said.
''Sometimes people are reluctant to be counted because they are living an atypical lifestyle -- like six to 10 people in a household; and they fear the landlord might find out,'' Marshall said.
The 2000 Census will continue until the end of May. Marshall expects to hire 200 to 300 people to go door-to-door.
Official canvassers or ''enumerators'' will be pounding the pavement in the evenings and on weekends, trying to snag people who never received census forms -- or are simply procrastinating.
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