Auburn looks to update its ward boundaries

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AUBURN — City ward lines will shift, according to a draft plan going to city councilors next week, but the changes should be minimal.

“The majority of the wards are staying intact, but there are little pieces that needed to be changed,” City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire said.

Clements-Dallaire said she planned to present a draft of new ward lines based on the 2010 census at the City Council’s regular meeting. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Auburn Hall.

“We’ll present the draft and see what they think,” Clements-Dallaire said. “We’ve tried a couple of iterations and we felt this was the best option. So hopefully, if the council wants to move forward, we’ll put it on the agenda at the first meeting in March.”

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Maine cities and towns are expected to balance each ward to include an equal number of residents based on the most recent census. Clements-Dallaire said Auburn’s five wards each must have roughly 4,611 residents based on the 2010 census. Cities are allowed up to a 10 percent difference between the most and least populated wards.

Clements-Dallaire said another goal is to match updated county and Maine House of Representatives district maps. Both were updated by the Legislature in June.

In one proposed ward change, people living south of Court Street and between Harris Street and Russell Avenue would be moved out of Ward 3 and into Ward 2.

“That was one that was shifted by the state,” Clements-Dallaire said. “If we left it alone, it would have created three ballot styles in Ward 3 alone.”

In another change, homes along the southern shore of Taylor Pond would move from Ward 2 into Ward 3. The boundary currently is Garfield Road, Val View Drive and Chicoine Avenue. People living north of that line vote in Ward 2; those south of it vote in Ward 3.

Clements-Dallaire said maps of the new wards are not yet available online. They should be included in the City Council packets, due to be released Friday.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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