Detroit Lakes' new ward boundaries to be finalized before March 29 deadline
After Detroit Lakes City Council members approved the first reading the city's new ward boundaries on March 8, the new wards are expected to be adopted at special city council meeting before a state mandated deadline on March 29. Once final approval is granted, the new wards will become the city's new district boundaries until 2032.
New Detroit Lakes ward boundaries passed their first hurdle during the most recent city council meeting on March 8.
Members approved the first reading of the new municipal district lines and are expected to give final passage of the new wards during a special city council meeting before a state mandated deadline on March 29. The boundaries were created using data from the 2020 U.S. Census and will be used in every municipal election until 2032.
"The city is required to redo its ward boundaries so that all the wards have proportionally equal population," said Larry Remmen, community development director for Detroit Lakes, during the March 8 council meeting.
Remmen broke down the population in each ward.
- Ward 1: includes 3,255 residents and extends north of the westbound lane of Highway 10.
- Ward 2: includes 3,321 residents, and covers an area south of Highway 10, and east of Washington Avenue. The boundary residences along North Shore, East Lake and South Shore Drives are included in Ward 3, which ends at Long Bridge.
- Ward 3: includes 3,293 residents and covers an area south of Highway 10, and west of Washington Avenue. The boundary includes residences along West Lake Drive and Long Bridge Road, finally cutting off at the center point of Long Bridge, which crosses Curfman Lake.
"These districts are roughly proportional, we've had meetings with the county and they seem to be okay with the ward boundaries we are proposing," he said. "Since we have to complete this by March 29, there will probably need to be a special council meeting later this month to have the second reading for the ordinance."
After the boundary presentation, Ron Zeman, Alderman for Ward 1, said it was great to see the population grow in Detroit Lakes over the last 10 years.
"In 2010, our population was 8,569 and this year's population shows that it's 9,869, so we've had some good growth there," said Zeman.
Voters may find themselves in new districts under these new maps. Some Long Lake residents will be moving from Ward 1 to Ward 3. Much of the city's new population growth occurred north of Highway 10, which meant Ward 1 needed to become smaller. Also, the east and west dividing line between Wards 2 and 3 also changed. The line used to travel from Roosevelt Avenue, along Frazee Street to Minnesota Avenue, but now, Washington Avenue will be the dividing line with no zig-zag. On the south side of Detroit Lake, the dividing line between the wards used to be a point on South Shore Drive, but now, the dividing point is the midpoint on Long Bridge, which separates Detroit Lake from Curfman Lake, also known as Dead Shot Bay.
Along with the new maps, polling places are also expected to be finalized. The three polling places are: Grace Lutheran Church for Ward 1, Trinity Lutheran Church for Ward 2 and First Lutheran Church for Ward 3.