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Kellie Dodson gives Neil Iles a hot dog at the Pleasant Hill Census event in late August. Another event is being planned in September to help residents of the community respond to the 2020 Census. Or, Dodson invites residents to call her at town hall, 931-277-3818, if they have questions or need help with the online form.

Pleasant Hill Mayor Lisa Patrick wants her community to be counted.

The town in western Cumberland County reported a 39.8% response rate at the end of August.

“It’s more than just a count,” Patrick said Saturday during an event to help people fill out their Census forms. “It impacts school funding, town funding and social funding.”

The town held a hot dog event, with volunteers on hand with tablets to help people fill out the Census.

Nationally, 64.7% of households have responded to the 2020 Census. Tennessee has a 64% self-response rate. Overall, Cumberland County has a 61.8% response rate.

The city of Crossville has 53.6% response rate, and Crab Orchard has a 44.1% response rate.

The Pleasant Hill Town Council and town staff are ready and willing to help fill out the online forms. Town Clerk Kellie Dodson said residents can contact her at town hall if they have questions about how to respond to the Census. She can be reached at 931-277-3818.

Patrick hopes to hold another event in September, before the Sept. 30 deadline to be counted. There will be refreshments and possibly door prizes, she said. Everyone is welcome, even those who have completed their Census. Masks are required, but they will have some available.

The Census had to halt operations in March as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation. Operations were suspended in parts of the country until as late as July. 

Enumerators are currently working to reach out to households who have not yet responded. There are other enumeration activities taking place, as well, to ensure everyone is counted.

By early August, the Census reported it had counted 93 million households

Under law, the Census must be complete by Dec. 31. The Census announced in August it would end field data collection and self-response options on Sept. 30 to provide time to process the data.

The information is used to determine representation in Congress and state and local government. It also provides information used in distributing state and federal funds to communities and for grant applications.

The Census takes about 10 minutes to complete. Individuals who have not responded to the Census may do so at


Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at