- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:36
- Written by Robert Leach
- Category: Local News
A new ward map was established by the Lockport City Council that redistributed residents from the over populated fourth ward to the other three wards as per law that essentially states the wards need to be leveled in terms of population. Each of the four wards must be balanced between five and eight percent of each other in terms of population. The current population of roughly 24,800 needs to be split between all four wards which according to Lockport Mayor Dev Trivedi is between 6,000 and 6,200 in each new ward.
Late last year, Lockport City Attorney Ron Caneva notified City Council members that a new city map would need to be drawn up to come into line with 2010 census data as it pertains to Lockport's population. The fourth ward saw a large population boom thanks to a strong real estate market and new residential construction starts that pushed the wards population to nearly 10,000 people.
"The biggest problem with the old map obviously was the fourth ward was much bigger than the other three wards," Caneva said in his presentation to the Council. "It was somewhat difficult to cull the fourth ward down with the other three wards. The other difficulty was that some of the alderman lived on the outer boundaries of the wards and we needed to make sure they were kept in the wards they represent."
Mayor Trivedi and second ward alderman Kelly Turner met several times over the past few weeks working to balance the population of the wards and drafting a map that made sense for the city moving forward.
"Alderman Turner and myself met about three or four times in the past couple of weeks and we ironed out what we needed to do," Mayor Trivedi said prior to the vote.
Alderman Kelly pointed out "The fourth ward has grown so large, when Dev and I were first elected back in 1995 the city population was 9,700 people today the fourth ward has a population of 9,800 which equals the entire population of 1995. It was a daunting task to keep everyone in and contiguous and not break up neighborhoods badly. We worked hard together on this and we came up with something we could both easily agree on and this is it."
In the discussion that followed, Fourth Ward Alderman Robert Perretta was reluctant to give up any residents within his ward however understood he had little choice. "There were valid reasons why we needed to reduce the fourth ward," said Perretta. "For me, it was hard to give up any portion of the fourth ward but as time goes on I will still be very happy to service any of the residents of Lockport if you have any questions or concerns.
Mayor Trivedi said that certain parts of the Parkview and Meadow Ridge will move from the fourth ward to the third ward while the Dakota Glen and Long Oak Creek subdivisions will move to the first ward with the new map.
The new ward map presented was unanimously approved by the Council correcting the disparity and better balancing the wards to fall in line with the 2010 census information.
Photo above: "Fourth Ward Alderman Robert Perretta addresses the council on the new ward map which dramatically trimmed his ward from 9,800 residents to about 6,200."