Bamberg County 2010 Census
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

According to recently released 2010 United States Census data, each of the five municipalities in Bamberg County saw an increase in the rate of participation. The City of Bamberg’s participation rate increased from 59 percent in 2000 to 69 percent in 2010 (an increase of 10 percent). The City of Denmark increased from 51 percent in 2000 to 66 percent in 2010 (an increase of 15 percent); The Town of Ehrhardt’s participation rate increased from 48 percent to 77 percent (29 percent increase); Govan’s participation rate went from 63 percent in 2000 to 80 percent in 2010 (17 percent increase) and Olar increased from 53 percent in 2000 to 78 percent in 2010 (25 percent increase).

Overall Bamberg County’s participation rate increased from 54 percent in 2000 to 70 percent in 2010 (16 percent increase). South Carolina was only one of two states in the country, the other being North Carolina that showed an eight percent increase in participation. The State of South Carolina’s rate increased from 65 percent in 2000 to 73 percent in 2010. While the national rate for participation remained flat at 72 percent from 2000 to 2010.

“They’re all excited about it, they all feel good about the numbers, it means more money coming to South Carolina,” Bamberg Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson said. Watson presented the information to Bamberg City Council members at their September 13, meeting for Ms. Terry Seabrook, who was unable to attend. Watson said that census officials were willing to offer a census data workshop to anyone that wanted to study the results more in depth.

Also during the meeting:

• In an update on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) application for the Bamberg Civic Center to be used as a staging area it was noted that FEMA is “very conscious” how money is spent. Funds cannot be spent to renovate anything and must be used to make improvements only. “Roof, windows and doors is the only way money can be spent at the Civic Center, it’s something to think about,” Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson said.

Of the proposed $1 million FEMA Grant (whose application is due by December) with $600,000 to be divided between Bamberg School District One, Bamberg School District Two and the County of Bamberg and $400,000 to the City of Bamberg for improvements at the Civic Center, it was noted that the Bamberg County E-9-1-1 Emergency Center was considering expanding its facility into the Civic Center thus transferring $200,000 more to the City of Bamberg.

• In the budget and finance report it was reported that the city of Bamberg was 16 percent of budget for the fiscal year.

• Police Chief George Morris reported that the police department has received several applications for a school resource officer (SRO) and the department is conducting background checks and will be conducting interviews in a couple of days.