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Council moving forward with redistricting plans
by Joshua H. Silavent
Sep 12, 2011 | 1394 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - This map of the possible redistricting boundaries was presented at Monday's City Council meeting.
Tribune/Dan McGee - This map of the possible redistricting boundaries was presented at Monday's City Council meeting.
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Tribune/Dan McGee - City planner Armando Ornelas gives a preliminary presentation at Monday's Sparks City Council meeting regarding the upcoming redistricting for the city's voting wards.
Tribune/Dan McGee - City planner Armando Ornelas gives a preliminary presentation at Monday's Sparks City Council meeting regarding the upcoming redistricting for the city's voting wards.
slideshow
SPARKS — Discussion about redrawing the city’s voting ward boundaries was muted during a first reading of a redistricting bill at the City Council meeting on Monday.

But that will likely not be the case at a public hearing on the matter scheduled for Sept. 26.

Municipal code requires that no single ward have a population that exceeds any other by more than 5 percent.

But the 2010 U.S. Census reports that population growth since 2003 — the last time the voting wards were redrawn — has upended this balance and triggered the necessary adjustments.

The city’s population currently stands at 91,057.

According to staff reports, when the total population is divided evenly among the five wards, Ward 1 is under-populated by about 10 percent; Ward 2 is under-populated by 3 percent; Ward 3 is under-populated by 16 percent; and Ward 4 and Ward 5 are overpopulated by 26 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

In August, city staff presented three different redistricting concepts for the council’s discussion. Based on that input, staff focused on modifications to map 1C, which now includes the Stonebrook development and the area master-planned Tourist Commercial within the Tierra Del Sol zoning handbook into Ward 4, represented by Councilman Mike Carrigan.

View the map by visiting http://portal.cityofsparks.us/media/misc/Proposed%20Ward%20Boundaries%20-%20Colors.pdf.

In other news, the City Council accepted the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant, which reimburses the city to the tune of $42,863 for parks and recreation after-school programming at Alice Maxell, Robert Mitchell, Lincoln Park, Agnes Risley and Kate Smith elementary schools.

The council also accepted a $7,000 grant from the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation, which will allow the Parks and Recreation Department to continue its Teen Discovery program for the November session.

The council also approved the purchase of a Rocky Grove Outdoor Classroom for Wedekind Regional Park in the amount of $34,719.

According to staff reports, “The park is to include use of the existing trail network, two outlooks with shade structures and a learning center off of the Fourth Street entrance, which will include a bridge, gazebo and classroom seating.”

The design stages for this project are underway and December completion date has been set.

Finally, the council voted to continue participating in the “Scope of Work for Business Licenses,” a measure approved by the Shared Services Elected Officials Subcommittee that aims to consolidate business and permit licensing services between Sparks, Reno and Washoe County.

Though city officials have been reluctant to participate in other consolidation initiatives with Reno and Washoe County, council members said they were pleased with the development of the business licensing plan.

Read more about this issue in Friday’s business section of the Daily Sparks Tribune.
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