FERGUSON TOWNSHIP Supervisors will vote on Oct. 1 to realign the townships three voting wards, but the move will not affect the upcoming presidential election.
The townships home rule charter states that the wards must be redistricted every 10 years, in conjunction with the updated U.S. census.
The townships population increased from 14,063 in 2000 to 17,690 in 2010, prompting the proposed changes.
Supervisors last discussed the situation in February, but tabled it at that time, planning to continue discussion after the state made its own legislative redistricting decision. Since then, the state boundaries have twice been appealed. The latest hearing was last week, and no decision has yet been announced.
The proposed township changes are the same as previously discussed. Township Manager Mark Kunkle said they are essentially just like a wave that will move residents across the three wards.
The proposal moves the boundary lines south in the 2nd and 3rd wards, adding population to both. The 3rd Ward, existing around North Atherton Street, roughly between Vairo Boulevard, Cherry Lane and Circleville Road, would receive 731 people from the 2nd Ward.
The 2nd Ward, which includes areas around West College Avenue and Science Park Road, would receive 294 people from the 1st Ward. The latter includes the most land area, and the rural parts of the township.
The move will divide residents to about 5,897 per ward. The wards are based on population, not registered voters.
Supervisor Elliott Killian said the ward populations should match as closely as possible to registered voters, so that each have equal voice.
Kunkle said the ward-elected members of the board really represent a population.
The county elections staff is working with the township on the changes, to ensure its eight precincts arent split by the new boundaries. They may create a new precinct to address population growth, but that decision has not yet been made.
If supervisors approve the new boundaries next month, the plan will next require approval from the county Court of Common Pleas.
Approved changes will not be ready in time to impact the Nov. 6 election, and wont affect next years municipal election because only the two at-large supervisors are up for term renewals. It will affect the three ward-elected officials up for re-election in 2015.
Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter