M'ville ward adjustment proposed to meet redistricting requirement

2012-11-13T21:20:00Z 2012-11-13T22:45:03Z M'ville ward adjustment proposed to meet redistricting requirementBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
November 13, 2012 9:20 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Redistricting in Merrillville could only affect two of the town's seven wards.

The town must redraw the ward lines by the end of the year to ensure the population in each of the wards is evenly balanced.

Town Council President Shawn Pettit said each ward would need a population of 5,035 residents to have an even distribution in the wards. State law allows the town to deviate 15 percent above and below that figure when redistricting, Pettit said.

Councilmen proposed moving precinct 30, which has a population of about 740 residents, from the 5th Ward to the 4th Ward. The precinct is near U.S. 30 and Taney Place.

According to town data, the 4th Ward would have a population of about 5,200 residents. The 5th Ward's population would be around 6,600.

Town Attorney John Bushemi said the 5th Ward still wouldn't be within the 15 percent threshold if that is the only change approved, but the population in Merrillville's other wards would be fine.

Chrissy Barron, the councilwoman for the 5th Ward, said she believes figures for the population in the ward are inaccurate.

She also said there are several apartment complexes in the 5th Ward, which can include a transient population.

Barron and other councilmen said they are comfortable with the proposed change. They also said if that is the only adjustment made, they don't think the new ward boundaries would be challenged by Lake County officials.

Councilmen are expected to consider a resolution to make the change in the two wards during the Nov. 27 council meeting.

The adjustment would become effective Jan. 1 if it is approved, Pettit said.

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