Town preps for redistricting

0
983

FORTVILLE – A growing population is prompting Fortville officials to redraw the boundaries of town council districts.

The five-member Fortville Town Council represents two districts and has one at-large member. Ohio Street serves as much of the border between the two districts, with District 1 mainly to the south of the street and District 2 mainly to the north. Tonya Davis and Libby Wyatt represent District 1. District 2 is represented by Becky Davis and outgoing council member Robert Holland, who will be replaced by Ryan Rummell next month. Fritz Fentz serves on the council at large.

Indiana law requires municipalities to redraw election districts during the second year after a federal census, which most recently occurred for 2020. Fortville’s population grew from 3,922 to 4,784 between 2010 and 2020, according to census data. Town Council members unanimously voted in favor of an ordinance upon its introduction this week that would move the dividing line for the two districts south to the railroad tracks that bisect town.

Fentz said the need to balance the districts is mainly due to Arbor Homes’ aggressive build-out of its Wyndstone subdivision on Fortville’s northeast side in recent years.

If approved a second time later this month, the redistricting would move the Flatrock Creek neighborhood on the west side of town from District 1 into District 2.

“All we’re doing is making that adjustment to the tracks,” Holland said at the council meeting. “…Essentially the biggest component of that is … Flatrock then moves from District 1 to District 2. That’s the most significant change.”

The redistricting does not take into account annexations that have occurred since the 2020 headcount.

“This is based on the 2020 census, so the new subdivisions that were annexed in after 2020 are not included on this until the next census, which will also change the look of the districts as well,” Tonya Davis said, adding District 1 will likely grow again.

Readjustments may be needed before the 2030 census, however.

“What it does is it just evens out the population,” Fentz said of the upcoming redistricting. “…We might have to readjust; it all depends on which development goes gangbusters and builds more houses or apartments or whatever, then we’ll make an adjustment again maybe in a couple years.”

The council is slated to have a final vote on the redistricting at its next meeting, which is at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Fortville Town Hall, 714 E. Broadway St.