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During yesterday’s board meeting, NID Directors adopted a redistricting resolution, with population and area changes to the five divisions. Redistricting requires adjusting division lines within the district every 10 years after the release of the US Census. The new division boundaries will preclude Division 4 Director Laura Peters, who lives in the Thermalands area northeast of Lincoln, to run for reelection when her term ends in December.

At their February 9th meeting, directors had four maps to review, labeled A through D. No member of the public provided comment on the proposed maps. Director Karen Hull then requested a fifth map, that would combine the top of map A and the bottom of Map D, “for variety.”

On Wednesday, directors were presented with five maps and again no members of the public weighed in. Director Rich Johansen made the motion to adopt Map E, Director Hull seconded the motion. The motion passed by a 4-1 vote with Director Peters voting No.

Reached for comment Peters stated, “While I am not surprised that the Board chose to redistrict me out of my division, I am disappointed. I have thoroughly enjoyed representing the constituents of Division 4 and I’m proud of the accomplishments made over the last four years. Two that stand out for me are the imminent removal of Hemphill dam on Auburn Ravine and the shift to exploring alternatives to the previously proposed and seemingly infeasible Centennial dam. I look forward to participating in the Plan for Water process through the end of the year and welcome the opportunity to talk to anyone interested in running for the newly open Division 4 seat on the Board.”

The maps below show the existing and new division boundaries.

The existing divisions (left image) and the new redistricting map (right-hand side)

According to the 2020 census, population in the existing five divisions is as follows:

Division 1: 20,643
Division 2: 17,734
Division 3: 17,860
Division 4: 24,209
Division 5: 18,539

The new district map, referenced as map E, divides the population among divisions as follows:

Division 1: 20,492
Division 2: 19,885
Division 3: 19,780
Division 4: 19,757
Division 5: 19,268

The deviation, or difference between districts, is 6.2%

Alternative map D, also presented at the meeting, was a hybrid of the first maps (B and C) presented to the directors.

Map D

Map D would have kept all current directors in their districts and redistributed the population as follows:

Division 1: 20,492
Division 2: 19,492
Division 3: 20,006
Division 4: 19,942
Division 5: 19,268

The deviation, or difference between districts, would have been 6.2% – the same as the adopted map E.

All maps are included in the staff report, available on NID’s website.