M'ville looks to redraw ward lines

2012-10-17T21:15:00Z 2012-10-17T23:11:46Z M'ville looks to redraw ward linesBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | The boundaries of Merrillville's seven wards will be changing.

Town Administrator Howard Fink said Merrillville is required to redraw the ward lines to ensure the population in each of the wards is as balanced as possible.

Merrillville will use census data to determine how the wards will be changed.

During a Town Council workshop Wednesday, Fink said each ward would need a population around 5,000 to be even.

He projects the population in the 1st, 2nd and 4th wards will need to be increased.

Fink said the process of changing the ward boundaries must be finished by Jan. 1.

"I would not wait," he told council members.

Fink said he will not determine how the boundaries will be changed, and the decision is ultimately up to the council.

Councilman Richard Hardaway said the process isn't going to be finished quickly.

He suggested councilmen should have a meeting devoted entirely to discussion of the wards. That meeting is likely to occur next month.

In other business, the town continues to look at selling some park property that isn't being used by residents.

Fink said the town must have two appraisals of each of the parcels before Merrillville could sell them.

Parks Superintendent Caryn Wilson has said some park parcels in Merrillville aren't used because the land is located behind homes. The location reduces the visibility of the sites and makes it difficult to access them.

The town would decrease maintenance costs by selling property that isn't utilized, town leaders said.

Merrillville also could focus more attention on improving parks that receive use from residents.

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