BISMARCK — Early preparation and education were the messages relayed to dozens of community leaders who were in Bismarck Monday to prepare for the upcoming Census.

Census day is April 1, less than 60 days away. Over the past few decades, the government has been pushing the importance of the Census.

As that day nears, those in charge of making sure everyone is counted are stepping into high gear.

Monday, nearly 100 representatives from across the state came to Bismarck to be trained for the upcoming census count.

Over the past 10 years, certain portions of the state have seen dramatic population swings, like out in the Bakken. Lindsey Harriman, who works for Williams County told KX News…

“We know that our population has grown tremendously in the past 10 years, so we want to be able to document that so that our community planners have that information, our decision-makers have that information, and the federal government has that information to bring those dollars back.”

Williams County has a population of over 30,000. Due south, about 3,000 people call Bowman County home. Commissioner Lynn Brackel said 10 years ago they dropped the ball.

“The last census in 2010, we missed about 20-percent of the population, and that was at the peak of the oil activity in Bowman County, and we’d like to pick some of those people back up again, we can’t afford to have anybody missed,” said Brackel.

Getting the count right is even more crucial for members of the tribal community.

KX News spoke with Tawny Cale, whose job is to make sure every off-reservation tribal citizen is counted.

“It’s extremely vital because some of the services that are available such as the Indian Health Services and any social services program is really going to be important because every person counts and every person is federal money for our state,” said Cale.

Community leaders shared ways of spreading the word about the Census, like reaching out to senior centers and offering seniors rides to libraries where they could fill out the information.

Others suggested having census information tables at parent-teacher meetings.

It’s all vital suggestions and knowledge that could have major consequences down the road.

A representative for the city of Carrington told the crowd if their census count falls short of what it should be, it could cost the city half a million dollars in infrastructure funding.