Afton redraws ward boundariesIn the wake of legislative redistricting, Afton was tasked with redrawing its own district boundaries.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
In the wake of legislative redistricting, Afton was tasked with redrawing its own district boundaries.
Afton approved a new ward map during its March 20 meeting.
Afton City Council was tasked with redrawing its district lines as a result of the 2010 census data in order to reflect growing populations.
“We wanted to straighten out some lines,” Deputy Clerk Kim Swanson Linner said. “To me it makes more sense to have the roads be the major district divisions.”
The redrawn legislative boundaries had no effect on Afton’s districts.
Afton’s four wards all received changes, both in terms of population and area.
“We wanted to try and bring totals of each of the wards as close to each other as possible,” Linner said. “Wards 1 and 2 were heavy on population and Wards 3 and 4 were light on population.”
The basic outlines of Afton’s four wards generally stayed the same with the exception of a few shifting of lines to better align with streets.
The new boundaries for Ward 1 are: the portion of the city located in the southeast portion of Afton, bounded by Trading Post Trail to the west, the St. Croix River to the east, Kelle's Coulee to the north and includes portions of the Old Village south of 32nd Street, and 60th Street to the south.
However a small area surrounded by 55th Street South, 57th Street South and Osgood Avenue South have been added into Ward 2 to better serve like populations.
The population in Ward 1 decreased from 751 to 729.
The new boundaries for Ward 2 are: the portion of the city located in the southwest portion of Afton, bounded by Manning Avenue to the west and Trading Post Trail to the east. Additionally Ward 2 includes a section between 10th Street to the north, 40th Street to the south and Neal Avenue to the east. Additionally, Ward 2 includes a section bounded by Neal Avenue to the west, 15th Street to the north, Stagecoach Trail to the east and Valley Creek Trail to the south.
Ward 2 also includes a portion bounded by 55th Street South, 57th Street South and Osgood Ave South.
The population for Ward 2 decreased from 749 to 733.
The new boundaries for Ward 3 are: the portion of the city located in the central portion of Afton, bounded by Neal Avenue to the west, Valley Creek Trail to the north, 40th Street and Kelle's Coulee to the south and includes the northern portion of the Old Village north of 32nd Street.
The population for Ward 3 increased from 690 to 722.
The new boundaries for Ward 4 are: the portion of the city located in the north portion of Afton, bounded by Manning Avenue to the west, and Hudson Boulevard to the north.
The south edge is bounded by 10th Street to Neal Avenue, 15th Street, Valley Creek and Putnam Boulevard.
The population for Ward 4 increased from 696 to 702.
Afton’s polling place for all four wards will remain Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.
Not 100 percent
Most council members said they felt the redrawn district lines did a good job of bringing the populations closer together. However, Council Members Bill Palmquist and Joe Richter weren’t entirely 100 percent on the new lines.
Palmquist said his biggest concern with the redrawn district lines is that many of the homes with smaller lots, similar to those in the Old Village, are left out of Ward 1.
“I’d like to see the lines capture the commercial district and the Old Village,” Palmquist said.
Richter said his biggest concern is the loss of his constituents.
“Increasing a ward number is easier than decreasing a ward number,” he said. “These wards have been in place for a long time, so the people that have supported me are going away – we’ve developed relationships with these people.”
Afton will submit its redrawn district boundaries to Washington County for approval.
An ordinance establishing new ward boundaries becomes effective on Aug. 14, the date of the state primary election.