By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A newly appointed committee will have one month to study proposed changes to each of Tupelo’s seven wards before the city adopts the new map.
City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved 10 residents to serve on the volunteer group, which will meet several times during the next few weeks.
By law, Tupelo must redraw its ward lines to incorporate new data from the 2010 Census, which showed a net gain of 335 people to the city as well as a shift in its demographics. The city also gained some 1,245 new households on Sept. 2 as a result of its long-fought annexation of six different areas.
All the wards “will change somewhat, because you want an equal amount of people in each ward to have the same voting power,” said City Clerk Kim Hanna. “We’re expecting to see a lot of shifting.”
The city also must preserve its two minority districts, which currently are Ward 4 and Ward 7.
Among the proposed changes:
• WARD 1: Some of the Joyner neighborhood would move to Ward 2, including Woodlawn, Houston, Maxwell, Calloway and Fletcher Streets.
• WARD 2: It will lose an area to Ward 4, including all or portions of Bella Vista, Nelle, Exchange, Forrest, Stephen D. Lee, and West Main streets.
• WARD 3: President Avenue Extended and Shell Street would go to Ward 7.
• WARD 4: All or portions of Wallace Street, Enterprise Drive, Service Drive, Community Drive, Plant Road and Elizabeth Street would go to Ward 3. Some of historic residential downtown Tupelo also would move into Ward 3.
• WARD 5: The Mall at Barnes Crossing and much of the North Gloster shopping district would move into Ward 4. A southern chunk of the ward would go to Ward 3, including all or portions of Senter Street, Westmoreland Drive, Krueger Drive, Whitaker Street, Triangle Street and Eason Boulevard.
• WARD 6: The Windfield subdivision and its surrounding area would move into Ward 2.
• WARD 7: This ward will lose almost no territory.