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Lebanon Council rules against seventh ward
Jan 07, 2005 12:00 am
Despite rumblings surfacing from Lebanon City Council about establishing a seventh ward last fall, city councilors quickly and quietly quashed the idea Tuesday night.
"My preference would be to keep it at six (wards,)" Ward 5 Councilor Jim Mills told Lebanon Planner Magi Tilton.
Fellow councilors speedily agreed and then reverted to examining the proposed changes in the current ward boundaries.
"We had two options and it was basically to equalize the districts," Tilton said. "Mills was landlocked and with this we can open him up and head north and west."
The proposed boundary changes allows each council to almost equally represent the same number of constituents and allows room for growth. Each councilor would acquire a piece of the city limit border, giving way to additional annexation and a population increase.
The proposed changes, however, will not be set in stone. Every few years, the Council will revisit the boundaries to promote equality among districts. The reason for changes now is because of massive population growth in Ward 6, which is represented by Kathy Warmath.
"We made her district a little bit smaller, because the growth is already happening there," Tilton said to the Council.
After hearing the facts and seeing the potential changes to ward boundaries, councilors started discussing "trading off" areas to more equally represent the city.
"If we go right through here, I'd be fine," Ward 2 Councilor Annette Stafford said to Ward 1 Councilor Carl Wood while pointing to the proposed map changes.
Other trades were briefly made during the work session Tuesday with each councilor offering one area to claim another as his or her own. Marking down slight adjustments as they went, Tilton explained she would clean up the maps and resubmit them to the councilors in the coming weeks.
"At least we've got a direction from you as where to go and where to massage it and tweak it," she said.
Eyeing the potential changes, Warmath admitted she was pleased with the direction the Council was moving toward.
"It's looking good for a first run," she said glancing over the small changes marked on a proposed map.
During the regular meeting, the Council took its first look at combining efforts to ensure a supply of "potable water" during a homeland security emergency. To encourage that effort, councilors unanimously approved a mutual aid agreement between Lebanon and water suppliers and distributors in the city and county.
In other business, the Council:
· deferred the appointment of Patsy Anderson to the Board of Zoning Appeals and the amendment of the Lebanon Municipal Code regarding airport zoning ordinances.
· approved amending the city codes regarding rezoning and grounds for an amendment.
· approved the qualification and certification plans for the engineering and building inspection departments and revision to the same plan for the sewer department.
· approved rezoning 14,000 square feet on Gulf Avenue from light industrial to medium residential.
· approved purchasing a portable desktop breathalyzer for the police department's DUI van and 14 laptops computers for officers.
· approved an omnibus budget amendment.
Night News Editor J.K. Devine can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 46 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.