By NATHAN GREGORY
The U.S. Department of Justice recently approved the redistricting plan adopted by the Starkville Board of Aldermen in August.
The plan, termed â€śPlan 4Aâ€ť of several that were brought to the board by representatives from the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District, cuts the population in Wards 1 and 3, represented by Aldermen Ben Carver and Eric Parker, respectively. The plan was approved after several public hearings and suggestions from aldermen on how best to meet the requirement of a less-than-10-percent deviation between the most and least populated wards while keeping together areas of common interest.
The plan received unanimous approval from aldermen. It is effective immediately, meaning voters who go to the polls in this yearâ€™s municipal primary and election will be doing so under the new plan.
The population Ward 1 lost went to portions of Wards 2, 6 and 7. Ward 1â€™s population decreased from 5,123 to 3,589. Ward 2 previously had a population of 2,707 and is now 3,384. Ward 3â€™s population is now 3,296 â€” a decrease of more than 1,200 residents from its former total of 4,514. Wards 4 and 5 gain more than 500 residents each, with populations of 3,573 and 3,417 respectively. Ward 6 formerly had 2,764 residents and now has a population of 3,280. Ward 7 increased from 2,910 to 3,349.
Areas south of Old Highway 82 north of Miss. Highway 12 and west of Miss. Highway 25 changed from Ward 1 to Ward 2, including Mockingbird Road, Sandpiper Drive, Goldfinch Lane, Meadow Lark Drive, Bob White Drive, Pinecrest Road and Arbor Drive.
Areas east of Miss. Highway 25, south of Garrard Road and west of Reed Road have changed from Ward 1 to Ward 7, including Cedar Creek Lane and Avondale Street.
Areas between Lindberg Boulevard and Louisville Street will also change from Ward 1 to 7, including McKee Avenue, Scales Street, Josey Avenue and Cole Street. Residents on the south side of Ward Drive are now in Ward 7.
Ward 3 also lost areas east of Louisville Street to Ward 2, including the entirety of Deerfield Road and Henderson Road. Other areas south of Yellow Jacket Drive and west of South Montgomery Street that were formerly in Ward 3 are now in Ward 4, including the subdivisions of Timbercove and Maison de Ville and the entirety of Academy Road. The new ward division between Wards 3 and 4 stops after Shadowood Lane.
An area mostly consisting of the Yellow Jacket Mobile Home Park that was in Ward 3 is now in Ward 7.
A section south of East Gillespie Street between Vine Street and South Montgomery stopping north of Miss. Highway 12 has changed from Ward 4 to Ward 5. Also changing from Ward 4 to 5 are East Lampkin Street, Hogan Street, and the north sides of East Gillespie Street and Green Street.
Portions of what were formerly in Ward 7 were also transferred to Ward 5, including Sheppard Street, Santa Anita Drive, Didlake Street, Annabella Street and Park Avenue.
Ward 7 also gave the north sides of Pilcher Street and Curry Street. Also included in the change from Ward 7 to 6 are portions of Oak Street and Freeman Street.
More information on the new redistricting plan can be found at http://www.cityofstarkville.org.