Last updated: August 23. 2013 1:53AM - 75 Views

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LIMA — City Council picked new ward boundaries Monday, with a map that eliminates the 8th Ward and divides population and streets into a new configuration but minimizes disruption to the current wards.In the option council selected, the 8th Ward is divided among four other wards, the 4th, 7th, 3rd and 6th.All councilors but 3rd Ward Councilman Jesse Lowe II expressed support for the option council selected, but the vote selecting the option was unanimous. Council will vote on an ordinance with the map and legal descriptions of the boundaries at its meeting Monday.“With the qualifications you spoke about, balanced population, compact, contiguous,” 5th Ward Councilwoman Teresa Adams said to council President John Nixon, “I believe this option fits better than the other two. I can live with any of the three, but this option shows the least disturbance. It's more of an issue of just dividing the 8th Ward and not more radical changes.”Every 10 years with new census numbers, City Council is required by the charter to redistrict. The new maps become effective Jan. 1.This year, as 8th Ward Councilor David Adams announced he would not seek another term, he also suggested to councilors they consider eliminating the ward. By charter, the city cannot have more than 7,000 residents in each ward, but the wards now don't come close to that. Even with dropping to seven wards, each will have populations of about 5,100. The city's population has dropped nearly 7 percent between 2000 and 2010. The city's wards will not include prison populations, based on recommendations from the city administration, Law Department and Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission.Fourth Ward Councilman Tom Tebben said the new maps creates squared off boundaries and disrupts the wards less than other options. Council had begun the process with five options and narrowed their choices to two versions of one option and a second. First Ward Councilman Kurt Neeper said he's seen in the news how “redistricting can be difficult,” referring to the widely panned Ohio Republicans' map of new congressional districts.“This map is sensible and neat,” Neeper said.The Allen County Board of Elections will have new ward boundaries and voter lists prepared by mid-December, deputy elections director Ken Terry said.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.

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