The Athens City Council approved new voting district boundaries Monday moving 680 residents from District 2 to District 5 and 20 residents from District 1 to District 2.
The Council approved the redistricting after considering a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court that stated districts should have about the same number of people in the same type of district so that one district doesn’t have less power than another. Population changes were also a factor considering the population of Athens has increased by 2,930 residents, according to the 2010 census, but not all districts had the same increases.
The following is the current breakdown of each district:
• District 1: 4,365 residents
• District 2: 4,369 residents
• District 3: 4,269 residents
• District 4: 4,405 residents
• District 5: 4,489 residents
Areas affected by the changes in District 2, which will move to District 5, include the area around the middle school and a portion of Coleman Hill, Sandpiper I and II apartments, Park Place subdivision, Karl’s Acres subdivision, Belue subdivision and the future library.
Areas affected by changes in District 1, which will move to District 2, include the area southeast of Nick Davis and Oakdale Roads.
GIS Engineer Micah Cochran, who has been working on the redistricting plans, said the next step is to submit the information to the Department of Justice for “preclearance.” The plan will then be subject to a 60-day review period falling sometime in mid-March.
After the DOJ clearance, the Board of Registrars could begin notifying residents affected by the redistricting. Cochran added the Board of Registrars would send a post card by mail if a resident’s voting place has changed.
The City Council also approved a resolution Monday to appropriate $216,500 to the library funding account to complete its pledge. Both the city and county agreed to invest $1.1 million each in the project. At least $643,874 of that commitment is in the cost of the building. The city had already put $561,937 into the project.
Other approved items included:
• Amending the Athens Zoning Ordinance, which includes redefining the definition of “private clubs” and zoning boundaries. The Planning Commission and City Council unanimously approved the changes;
• Travel expenses for the Electric Department;
• Setting a public hearing concerning the proposed rezoning of property located at the end of Old Decatur Road;
• Resolution for National Wild Turkey Federation, Inc. for the special events retail license;
• Resolution for modifications of the telecommunications facility located at 154 Elm St.;
• Resolution to approved 2011 budget amendments for general fund including insurance at $200,000 — capital expenditure $250,000; and municipal court at $400 — public works at $5,500;
• Resolution for construction of a public road connecting French Farms Boulevard and Old Decatur Road;
• Resolution for job requirements for the chief of police.