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Published February 14, 2012, 10:09 PM

EGF Gets New Wards

EAST GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It's time to re-draw ward lines in East Grand Forks. The city has grown since the last census and the five wards are have become unequal.

EAST GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It's time to re-draw ward lines in East Grand Forks. The city has grown since the last census and the five wards are have become unequal.

East Grand Forks grew by 1,100 people since the last census 10 years ago, bringing its population to 8,600.

The city only has one legislative district, but that must be divided into five wards.

Redistricting is done every ten years after each census.

With this new plan each ward will have about 1,700 people in it.

About one-fifth of East Grand Forks residents will switch wards with this new map.

All five wards had some growth, but the biggest increase was in Ward One on the far south end, which gained nearly 700 people.

The new wards are oddly shaped, but the city has seen dramatic vertical growth.

"It's really hard when you grow 1,100 people for a town the size that we are and for the city being the physical characteristics that they are to try to finagle these wards," East Grand Forks Senior Planner Nancy Ellis said.

"Everybody in this city should be very proud that we've had growth. We lost 1,500 to 2,000 people in the flood," City Council Member Henry Tweten added.

Ellis prepared four different maps for the council. The city council unanimously supported the third map.

The city will schedule public hearings on the proposal. But the Minnesota legislature needs to vote on the state's redistricting plan before this can be set in place. The city's new wards will take effect by the November election.

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