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Lewis redistricting to split Denmark, shift Lowville and Croghan lines

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County’s proposed redistricting would split a third town — Denmark — and shift boundary lines for seven of the 10 districts.

However, the proposal, accepted Thursday by the county’s Reapportionment Committee, would not alter the number of lawmakers or force any sitting legislators to run against each other.

“This is a very tedious task,” said Board of Legislators Chairman Jack T. Bush, R-Brantingham, who also heads the Reapportionment Committee.

He commended county tax map technicians for spending “numerous hours and days” to develop the plan, using population figures derived from the 2010 U.S. census.

Legislators Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, and John O. Boyd, D-New Bremen, also serve on the Reapportionment Committee.

County officials now will compile boundary descriptions and publicize the plan, with the intent of bringing it to a vote of the full Legislature in early January.

If approved, the changes would take effect for the fall 2013 elections, when all 10 legislative seats will be up for grabs.

Lewis County’s population from 2000 to 2010 increased by only 143, from 26,944 to 27,087, but it shifted toward the western portion of the county.

The goal of the redistricting, done every 10 years, was to keep each Lewis County district as close as possible to the average population of 2,709.

Making the process more difficult was a state stipulation that only towns with populations greater than 110 percent of the average may be split. That threshold for Lewis County is 2,980, meaning only a handful of the 17 towns would be eligible.

Under the plan, Districts 3 and 7 would be the most populous with 2,807 people each.

Mr. Bush’s district, District 9, would be the least populous with 2,426. Despite the low number, that district — consisting of the towns of Greig and Lyonsdale — is to stay intact, because towns in the southern part of the county are not populous enough to split.

The other two southern districts — 8 and 10 — also would be unchanged.

Current legislative districts split only two towns: Lowville into four segments and Croghan into two. Under the redistricting plan, Denmark — now encompassed by District 3 — also would be split into two.

District 3 would pick up constituents in the northern part of the town of Lowville to make up for the loss of ones in the Castorland area to District 2.

Boundary lines in the town of Lowville would change for all of its districts, including a shift of the Dadville area from District 4 to 6.

Following is a description of the seven districts proposed to change, with sitting legislator:

n District 1 — Diana and the northern portion of Croghan, using the Black River and a small creek, Zecher and Old State roads and the Beaver River as boundaries (Philip C. Hathway, R-Harrisville).

n District 2 — The southern portion of Croghan, plus eastern Denmark, using an old rail line, a small creek and East Road as boundaries (Mr. Tabolt).

n District 3 — Western Denmark, plus northern Lowville, using Number Three Road, village limits and Route 812 as boundaries (Charles R. Fanning, R-Copenhagen).

n District 4 — New Bremen (Mr. Boyd).

n District 5 — The village of Lowville, except for the southeastern section bounded by South State and River streets, plus two small segments in the town of Lowville (Patrick F. Wallace, R-Lowville).

n District 6 — The southeastern portion of the village and town of Lowville with Watson (Paul M. Stanford, D-Watson).

n District 7 — Western Lowville with Martinsburg and Turin (William J. Burke, R-West Lowville).

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