The Lafayette City Council discussed the upcoming census at its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 3.

Sherry Jackson, a representative of the Census Bureau, spoke to the council about the 2020 census.

"We want to count everyone living in Macon County," Jackson said. "We want to count them once, and we want to count them in the right place. The census data determines how many seats we get in the House of Representatives."

Jackson said the state of Tennessee currently has nine representatives, but an accurate census count could, potentially, impact that number.

"Counting folks in the rural areas (is really important)," Jackson said. "We want to represent our rural values."

The census also affects how much grant money the county could be eligible for.

Mayor Richard Driver asked how much one missed person could potentially lose the county. Jackson stated each person would be worth roughly $1,900 per year.

Jackson stressed that responding to the census is safe, and that information is not shared with any other government agency.

This year's census can be answered via the census web site, telephone, or paper response. If an individual does not respond to one of these methods, Jackson said that a census worker will "come knocking."

A committee formed in the county consisting of community leaders and elected officials has coined the slogan Macon Count for this year's census.

The council voted to authorize that Driver can spend up to $2,000 in advertisement and awareness for the census.

The council also voted to rezone two sections of property.

The first, located on College Street, was rezoned from general commercial to central business district.

The second, located on Bratton Avenue, was rezoned from low density residential to high density residential.

They also approved the purchasing of new turnout gear (protective equipment) for the fire department.

The mayor also informed the council that the anticipated stoplight at the intersection of Highway 52 and Ellington Drive should be coming sooner than expected. Bids for the project should begin in May of 2020.

Driver said that the stoplight should be installed by the end of next summer or by early fall.