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New districts proposed

Kevin Wiser, Sun News Service

After shuffling new census numbers, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors set tentative new borders Tuesday for the county’s five supervisorial districts, which call for significant changes countywide.

State law requires that boundaries be redrawn every 10 years, to balance populations in each district based on new census numbers.

One of the goals in redrawing district boundary lines is to keep communities with similar interests together and avoid splitting major facilities, said assistant county administrator Rick Haffey.

During the redrawing of boundary lines in 1990, for instance, the Alta Sierra community was split between Districts 1 and 2, while the Nevada County Airport was divided between Districts 1 and 3.

From 1990 to 2000, Nevada County’s population grew from 78,510 to 92,033, a 17.2 percent increase.

Balancing the county’s population will require close to 18,406 in each district.

To begin the process, the supervisors started in District 3 – which saw the lowest growth rate in the county – and worked outward, ending with District 5, which grew fastest over the last 10 years.

The reasoning behind this approach was to add to District 3 first – which, with a current population of 16,839, was well short of the required 18,406.

To increase the District 3 population, Scotia Pines, Dorsey trailer park, south Brunswick basin, the Nevada County Fairgrounds and Bubbling Wells, Squirrel Creek and Old Auburn Roads were added.

To reduce the population in District 5 – which registered at 21,206 – San Juan Ridge was taken away and added to District 4.

Haffey said the math doesn’t work for making Truckee a district of its own, because the town itself only has a population of approximately 15,000.

Another concern in redrawing district boundaries is to balance populations in each district without breaking up voter precincts and school and fire districts.

Having to print different ballots for divided precincts could cost the county tens of thousands of dollars, Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick said.

A public hearing will be held June 26 to review the supervisors’ proposed boundary changes.

Haffey and Jewett-Burdick recommend new district boundaries be adopted before Aug. 15, so voter precinct lines can be redrawn in time for the filing period for supervisorial candidates, which begins Sept. 28.


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