The U.S. Census Bureau reports that a new date for concluding the 2020 Census, for both self-response and field data operations, has been set for Oct. 5. The statement was made on Sept. 28, announcing that the new date was set by the Secretary of Commerce.
A separate announcement made last week had extended the Census response deadline from Sept. 30 to Oct. 31. The decision to extend the deadline by one month was made by order of U.S. District Judge Koh of California. That decision was appealed, with the new date of Oct. 5 being set; however, other cases involving the 2020 Census are pending.
The Census Bureau has reported on their website that steady progress is being made through a combination of self-response rates and reports from Census takers. As of Sept. 24, ninety-seven percent of all U.S. households have been counted.
In North Carolina, 62.5 percent of households have responded online, by phone or by mail and 31.5 percent have been surveyed by Census workers, for a total enumeration rate of 94 percent. An estimated 592,492 people across the state have not yet responded, however, putting $1,080,112,916 in funding at risk.
Locally, 67.5 percent of households have participated in the 2020 census through self-response, with the Town of Stem leading the way at 74.2 percent. The City of Creedmoor follows with a 68.7 percent self-response rate, the Town of Butner at 66.6 percent, the City of Oxford at 64.3 percent and the Town of Stovall at 46.8 percent. Census takers continue their work door-to-door to help complete the count. In the meantime, those who have not yet responded are asked to do so. Responses are available online (my2020census.gov), by phone (1-844-330-2020) or by mail.
The Census takes place every ten years and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. An accurate population count helps determine how billions of dollars in federal funding is appropriated for roads, hospitals, schools, emergency services, healthcare, libraries and other community services, as well as government representation.
Field staff have been instructed to continue with current operations until the Oct. 5 target date, or until an update is provided. An official announcement is expected on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Members of the John Penn Chapter of the North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution recently presented Mark Pace of the Granville County Library System with the National Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award. The recognition was made on Main Street in Oxford at the Monument to the Patriots and Revolutionary Soldiers of Granville County.
Pace is the North Carolina Room Specialist of the Richard H. Thornton Library. The award, approved at both state and local levels to move on to the national level, is made to individuals and groups who have contributed to their communities in an outstanding voluntary, heroic, civil or benevolent manner or who have participated in or organized community activities. The recognition was made in honor of his contributions to the people of Granville, Vance and Wake Counties, as well as counties in southern Virginia. The local historian is well-known for sharing his knowledge and expertise in historical, patriotic, educational and cultural areas through various civic activities and through his work at the library.
In addition to his numerous contributions to the community, Pace serves as Vice-President of the Granville County and Vance County Historical Societies. He also participates in many activities and projects which spotlight our county’s history.
The North Carolina Room of the Granville County Library System includes an extensive collection of historic books, references, documents and genealogical records. The Richard H. Thornton Library is located at 210 Main Street in Oxford.
Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) begins Oct. 15. As health needs change, open enrollment is a one-time opportunity for all people on Medicare to review and/or revise their plan for the upcoming year.
Appointments are now being scheduled at the Granville County Senior Center in Oxford for a 2021 plan review. Granville County seniors who would like assistance with Parts C and D of their Medicare plan may call 919-693-1930 to reserve a date and time.
The Senior Center is located at 107 Lanier Street in Oxford. Open enrollment ends on Dec. 7.
Mr. Ernie Anderson of Creedmoor was sworn into office as County Commissioner at 3 p.m. today. Anderson was appointed by the Granville County Board of Commissioners to represent District 5, a seat left vacant by the unexpected passing of Comm. Owen Roberts in July.
Anderson, a construction project manager, was sworn in by Creedmoor Mayor Bobby Wheeler, with Commissioners Zelodis Jay (District 1), Sue Hinman (District 3) and Tim Karan (District 6) in attendance. Anderson’s wife Linda held the Bible for the oath of office.
The appointment was made at the Sept. 8 meeting of the Board. Anderson will serve until Dec. 7, as this seat is on upcoming ballot.
The month of September is set aside each year as “Library Card Sign-Up Month.” The Granville County Library System, in partnership with the American Library Association, marks the beginning of the school year as an opportunity to ensure that every child signs up for their own library card.
The 2020 Theme for the American Library Association’s campaign is “Libraries are Wonderful,” with “Wonder Woman” of the DC Comics’ Justice League, as Honorary Chair. The superhero theme emphasizes the value of learning and the role libraries play in transforming lives and strengthening communities through education.
Library cards can be used to check out books, take home DVD’s, use the internet, and take advantage of a wide variety of ways that make learning fun. Studies show that children who read regularly (or are read to) and who use library resources often perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning. Libraries also offer great ways for families to spend time together through scheduled programs and activities.
Granville County residents may apply for a FREE library card by showing a valid North Carolina driver’s license, photo ID or student ID with a current Granville County address. Students under the age of 14 can be issued a card with a parent ID and parent signature.
Non-residents may be issued a Granville County Library System library card for $15.00 per year. Lost cards can be replaced for only $1.00.
Throughout the school year, librarians and staff members are ready to assist students with educational resources and services. From STEAM programs, online activities, internet access, workshops, story time hours and librarian expertise, local libraries help provide a cost-effective option for education, whether virtually or in person.
Branches of the Granville County Library System (in Oxford, Creedmoor, Stovall and Berea) are open during limited hours, as precautionary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing guidelines apply and masks are required when visiting library branches in person.
For more details about what your local library has in store during the 2020/2021 academic year, or to learn more about Library Card Sign Up Month, please visit https://granville.lib.nc.us/ or call your local library today:
- Richard H. Thornton Branch (Oxford): 919-693-1121
- South Branch (Creedmoor): 919-528-1752
- Stovall Branch (Stovall): 919-693-5722
- Berea Branch (Berea): 919-693-1231
Library Card Sign-Up Month has been held each September since 1987.
In data shared from a recent statewide study, the economic impact of visitor spending in 2019 has been reported, with Granville County expenditures showing an increase of 4.5 percent over the previous year. According to the annual report by Visit North Carolina, a part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, visitor spending in Granville during 2019 totaled $54.79 million, compared with $52.44 million in 2018.
Granville County Tourism Development Director Angela Allen attributes the county-wide growth in tourism and visitor spending to a growing local economy – such as the opening of new restaurants and gathering places – as well as the wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“As more and more people are discovering our welcoming atmosphere and relaxed lifestyle, we are quickly becoming a choice destination,” Allen remarked. “Our new marketing campaign bears this out. We are ‘Uniquely Carolina.’”
North Carolina currently ranks number 6 in the country for overnight visitation. Will Tuttell, director of Visit North Carolina, credits the state’s natural beauty and authenticity for this ranking. The 2019 study indicates that visitors spent more than $73 million per day across the state in 2019, setting a new record as more than $26.7 billion in expenditures was reported. This total represents an increase of 5.6 percent from 2018.
“The numbers confirm strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor for economic development,” Tuttell remarked. “The money that is spent here by our visitors benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”
Visitor spending in Granville County has seen a steady increase over the past decade. Approximately $37 million reported in 2010, with $40.89 million in 2011, $42.97 million in 2012, $44.43 million in 2013, $44.26 million in 2014, $45.69 million in 2015, $47.11 in 2016 and $49.51 in 2017.
The COVID-19 pandemic and an emphasis on “staying home” during 2020 has presented its own set of challenges for tourism in the coming year. Allen offers a reminder that Granville County continues to offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities, as well as locally-owned shopping and dining experiences, that keep our area in the forefront.
“Granville County already features many of the outdoor activities and natural surroundings visitors are looking for,” she reminds. “There are five lakes to choose from for fishing, kayaking and outdoor fun, as well as hiking and biking trails, open areas, play spaces and so much more. And there are ample opportunities for shopping, dining and supporting our local businesses. We’re working hard to spread the word that Granville continues to be a ‘unique,’ choice destination for visitors.”
To learn more about tourism in Granville County, log onto www.visitgranvillenc.com, or contact Tourism Director Angela Allen by phone at 919-693-6125 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Statewide county statistics from the Visit North Carolina study are available through their website at https://partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies.
Granville County Government will lower flags to half-staff at all facilities in honor of Commissioner Edgar Smoak, who passed away on Sept. 11.
Smoak, who represented Granville County’s District 7, was elected in 2010 has was serving his third term, being re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He has served in several key positions, which included the Area Mental Health Board, the Audit Review Committee and the Board of Equalization and Review. He also represented the County on Granville Health System’s Board of Trustees, as well as serving as Liaison for Public Safety, the Soil and Water Board, South Granville Water and Sewer Authority (SGWASA) and for Water/Sewer Matters. In addition, he was instrumental in forming Granville County’s Opioid Advisory Committee, for which he served as Chair.
Smoak was retired from the U.S. Military (National Guard). His term of office as Granville County Commissioner would have expired in 2022.
Please take notice that the Granville County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center, 4185 US Highway 15 South, Oxford. The purpose of the meeting is to conduct a special use permit hearing for a proposed wireless telecommunication tower near the Town of Stem off of Tump Wilkins Road.
Specifics of this hearing are as follows:
Special Use Application
SU-1-2020 USCOC of Greater North Carolina, LLC, Applicant, property off of Tump Wilkins Road
USCOC of Greater North Carolina LLC (US Cellular) is requesting a special use permit to place a 199’ self-supported wireless communication tower with a fenced equipment compound on property owned by Robert Butler Sr. and Rhonda Brandes. The property is accessed from Tump Wilkins Road across property owned by Mamie Wilkins. The property is zoned Agricultural Residential 40 (AR-40). The property that the wireless communication tower would be located on is specifically identified as tax parcel map number #088904613029.
The Board anticipates going into closed session, pursuant to G.S. §143-318.11(a)(3), (4) and (6) (attorney-client, economic development and personnel.).
-Debra A. Weary, Clerk to the Granville County Board of Commissioners
-Barry Baker, Planning Director, Granville County Government
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has announced that Granville County Government has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The award was officially announced on Sept. 9 in recognition of the County’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.
The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) Program to assist state and local governments in going beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and to encourage transparency. The County’s CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story.
“We are very proud that our finance department has once again been recognized with this award,” said Granville County Board of Commissioners Chair David T. Smith. “They continue to provide an accurate and transparent financial picture that the Board – and the public – can rely on.”
The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. This is the 21st consecutive year that Granville County has earned this award.
Financial information for the County, as well as the most recent CAFR, is available through the Granville County Government website at www.granvillecounty.org.
The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) encourages all residents, businesses and community leaders to provide input on the transportation network in North Carolina. Feedback will be used to identify shared-use paths (trails, greenways, multi-use paths, etc.) that connect every county and accommodate a variety of users, including bicyclists, walkers, joggers, skaters, wheelchair users, etc. Once combined, individual trails can make up larger networks that connect neighborhoods, parks, schools, job centers and businesses.
The public can provide feedback in two ways: 1) by taking an interactive map survey; or 2) by taking a ten-question survey. Both surveys are now available online and are part of NCDOT’s effort to develop its statewide trail plan and five-year implementation strategy, called the Great Trails State Plan.
The Great Trails State Plan is being led by the NCDOT’S Integrated Mobility Division, in partnership with the NCDOT Transportation Planning Division and North Carolina State Parks. Visit www.ncdot.gov/divisions/bike-ped/great-trails-state to sign up for information or learn more about this project.