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Wards cross river in remap draft

Updated: February 11, 2013 3:49PM



AURORA — The first draft of the city’s ward remap shows both the 4th and 6th Wards crossing the Fox River, while the 2nd Ward is moved east.

Currently, the 4th, 5th and 6th wards are all west of the river. But because they are below the target population number for each ward, they’ll likely be redrawn as bigger wards.

The 2nd Ward, which is mostly east of the Fox River, is the only ward that currently crosses the river. Under the draft map, a majority of the ward’s West Side share would be shifted to the 6th Ward, which would extend east until about Lincoln Avenue. The 4th Ward would extend east across the river to about 4th Street.

Nearly every other ward shifts to the east under the ward remap, reflecting the population trend in the city since the 2000 Census. The 7th Ward, which currently ends at Kane County line on the east, would extend further east into DuPage County under the remap.

According to 2010 Census numbers, each ward should contain about 19,900 residents.

The committee working on the new ward maps is tasked with creating a map that ensures no ward deviates from the average ward population by more than 10 percent, but the city has made it a goal to have no ward deviate above or below 5 percent.

Under the first draft map, the 10th Ward would be 2.2 percent over the average number of residents per ward, the largest deviation above; and the 5th Ward would be 4.5 percent below the average number of residents, the largest deviation below the average.

The committee also must create a map that tends to follow natural boundaries and does not unfairly dilute a racial voting block.

City spokesman Kevin Stahr said the proposed new map will likely change many times before it is finalized.

In January, Alderman Rick Lawrence, 4th Ward, said the wards should not cross the Fox River, because of different issues and schools on each side of the river. He said the city would be better off moving the 4th Ward completely off of the city’s West Side.

But Alderman Mike Saville, 6th Ward, said having wards that cross the river are likely the committee’s only choice. He is one of four aldermen on the ward remap committee.

The next ward redistricting meeting is set for 3:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at City Hall.



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