The City of Decorah is being given until September 1st to redraw the boundaries of its wards to comply with the new population figures of the U.S. Census.
City Clerk Wanda Hemesath is the city's point person for the project, which is done every ten years. She has gotten information from the U.S. Census Bureau and now is beginning the job of drawing up ward maps.
The city is required to have less than a one percent variance between the populations of its wards. The wards are created on a block-by-block basis, using the census figures.
Ten years ago, the biggest problem with redrawing ward boundaries was some inaccurate information about the distribution of Luther College students--the U.S. Census Bureau had assigned all Luther students to the same block. Hemesath is trying to get official distribution figures from the Census Bureau, but says preliminary maps suggest the problem won't be repeated this time around.
Once a ward boundary map is drafted, it will be reviewed by the entire Decorah City Council which, by ordinance, must vote on whether to officially approve the map.