City reviewing ward boundaries

Herald file photo.

The City of Prince Albert is asking for the public’s input as it reviews ward boundaries ahead of next year’s municipal election.

Under provincial legislation, the city must review its wards every three elections. The most recent ward boundary review was done in 2011.

The review looks at the potential growth rates of populations, reviews historical decreases or increases in population totals, considers physical boundaries and geographical conditions, considers neighbourhoods and community interest and reviews election polling areas. A municipal wards commission, established by council, is meeting to discuss options, research population statistics, engage with the public, make a decision and provide a final report to council.

The proposed changes would see Ward 2 extended south to 20th street, cutting up along 1 Ave. West and across 22nd Street to 3 Ave. East. It would also see the western border of Ward 7 moved west to First Ave West and the eastern boundary of Ward 1 cut across 19 Street West and down Eight Ave West. A chunk of Ward 3 bound by Second Street to the north, Seven Street to the south, 10 Ave. to the west and 11 Ave. to the east would also be reallocated to Ward 4.

An interactive map of the proposed changes can be found here: https://citypa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=2bd0db430e544b3fb3189ba42aa96641

Each of the city’s eight wards has seen either an increase or decrease in population over the past nine years, which has resulted in “an inequity of population average,” the city said. Wards 1, 2 and 4 saw their population decrease, while the other five wards saw an increase.

Some areas have seen growth of over 10 per cent of the difference between population totals since the last review.

The city is also looking at possible growth in Wards 2 and 3 due to the establishment of the new University of Saskatchewan Campus, and looking at future growth expected in Ward 5 in the Hadley Road, Glass Drive and Greenshields Lane areas.

Other growth is expected in Ward 8 according to the West Hill Master Plan.

The commission is also hoping to include all of the residents on Preverzoff Drive, Kwasnica Place, Dier Road and Thomson bay within Ward 6 to reduce confusion during elections and keep neighbourhoods together.

The commission is looking for the public to submit alternate boundaries, concerns about growth and decrease of the population within their wards, concerns about the proposed changes affecting the neighbourhood or community interests or concerns about election polling areas.

Any proposed changes must keep in mind that the population of each ward must remain within 10 per cent of one another.

The city is holding an open house in the city hall foyer with maps of the proposed changes and a drop-box for submissions during business hours until Oct. 2. There is also a public hearing planned at City Hall on Oct. 2 from 7-8:30 p.m. Register by calling the City Clerk’s office on the day of the meeting by noon by calling 953-4305. Speakers are to limit their presentation to five minutes.

You can also provide feedback through the online form at citypa/wardboundary or write or email a letter. Letters can be emailed to cityclerk@citypa.com or mailed to 1084 Central Avenue, Prince Albert, S6V 7P3