Franklin’s council district lines may need revisions
A minor error in demographic work for the City of Franklin resulted in a need for the city to reapportion council districts.
Mike Hefner of Geographic & Demographic Services, had performed the demographic profile of the city last year, and found no significant changes warranted reapportionment.
“In doing so, I noted that some of the 2010 census block boundaries were changed from what the Census Bureau used in 2000,” Hefner reported to the council Tuesday. “Particularly between Districts B, C and D. I rounded those districts off to the most favorable boundaries. At the time it didn’t appear that the city had to redistrict since all the districts were within” the mandated 5 percent deviation margin.
Hefner reported that he was recently asked by Mayor Raymond Harris to review those numbers because “some population numbers provided by another demographer seeking to conduct a redistricting of the city showed some deviations among all the districts except District A.”
Hefner said he found a census block assigned to District D that should have been relegated to District B.
However, assigning it to District B put it outside the deviation range at 5.59 percent. That would mean a redistricting plan to rebalance population changes, he said.
Hefner said those changes would be minor “compared with the other demographer’s approach that used the most unfavorable boundary adjustments to the 2010 census blocks.”
He recommended that the area erroneously applied to District B, bordered by Trowbridge, Willow, Ibert and Third streets, be transferred to District D.
Also, District B’s boundaries would be adjusted to the 2010 census block lines both north of Adams Street and south of Wilson Street between Main Street and Bayou Teche.
That part of District B between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard south to just north of Upperline Street would be assigned to District C, he said.
Hefner said that results in a balanced plan.
The other demographer is Cedric Floyd, who performed the city’s 2000 study and reapportionment plan.
The council agreed to take time to consider their next action before making a decision.
Also Tuesday the mayor and council:
—Introduced an ordinance allowing for purchase of the E.A Crowell Elementary School building, current location of city hall, from the school board.
—Postponed action on introduction of an ordinance regulating the riding of horses on public streets in the city.
—Adopted ordinances declaring surplus property and setting the speed limit on Perret Street.
—Approved resolutions for engineering consulting service for the Safe Routes to Schools sidewalk program and authorizing the mayor to execute contracts for the construction of that project; authorizing the mayor to execute a contract for reapportionment; and lifting the open alcohol container during the Franklin Art Walk on Aug. 18.