Local residents will have the opportunity to view proposed redistricting plans for the Columbus City Council on Monday night.
An information meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Columbus City Hall in the Cal Brand Meeting Room. There will be a presentation of the proposed neighborhood maps at 5:15 p.m., followed by a question and answer session.
The city council district changes, once approved, will come into effect from 2024. Council members can attend Monday’s meeting, but no official business will take place at that time.
“As you may recall, every 10 years the city must review the city council districts to ensure they are sufficiently balanced in terms of population,” Mayor Jim Lienhoop said during the meeting. a recent council meeting.
Additionally, the creation of a new sixth district is included in the redistricting proposal, as the council recently voted to adopt “second-class” status for the city of Columbus.
The transition involves a number of changes in the structure of the city. One of the most notable is the addition of two new members to the city council.
Indiana’s second-class cities each have a nine-member legislature—six members representing six districts and three members at-large. The Columbus City Council now consists of five district representatives and two generals.
As with the creation of new neighborhoods, the move to second-class status will take effect in 2024. Currently, Columbus is still a “third-class” city.
Under Indiana’s code, municipalities are designated by status and population as follows:
Cities of 600,000 or more—First Class Cities
Cities from 34,000 to 599,999 — Second-class cities
Cities under 34,000 — Third-class cities
Other municipalities of any population — Cities
According to census figures from STATS Indiana, Columbus had already reached a population of more than 39,000 in 2000, and its 2020 count was just over 50,000.
However, such increases do not automatically trigger a status change; state law dictates that the choice is made by an eligible city’s legislature.
The Columbus City Council voted earlier this summer to make the change, with only Councilman Frank Miller, R-District 4, opposing the change.