Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 17, 2013

Goshen City Council redistricting put on hold again

GOSHEN — By JOHN KLINE

john.kline@goshennews.com

GOSHEN — City Council members Tuesday voted once again to postpone the second reading and possible adoption of an ordinance establishing new council district boundaries within the city.

Originally discussed and passed on first reading at the council’s Dec. 4 meeting, the ordinance was set for second reading during a special meeting of the council held Dec. 27, though the second reading was eventually postponed until the council’s Jan. 2 meeting to allow the council more time to review the proposed changes.

Council members then voted to postpone the second reading again until Tuesday’s meeting in order to allow council newcomer Brett Weddell more time to review the proposed ordinance. However, before Tuesday’s meeting, council members Jim McKee and Weddell submitted a new proposal for redistricting, coined option “1A”, which called for some changes to the plan originally submitted and approved on first reading on Dec. 4.

According to the plan submitted for review during Tuesday’s meeting, option 1A calls for including the location where council member Julia Gautsche resides in Elkhart Township precinct 12 (census tract 1, block 1063) in Council District Four and excludes the same area from District Five. The option also calls for including the area in Elkhart Township precinct 13 (census tract 1, blocks 1000, 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1009, 1010, 1011 and 3131) in Council District Two and excludes the same area from District Four.

In an email to council members earlier this week, Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman noted that while he is still not happy with the idea of splitting precincts, he does like the fact that the deviation in population proposed in the new plan (14.66 percent) is a couple percentage points lower than the version passed on first reading (16.44 percent).

Other business

The council:

• Approved an ordinance to amend the Walmart/Market Centre PUD. The amendment involves a request for a major change to a PUD and a preliminary PUD site plan approval for on-site relocation of the existing Walmart, located at 4024 Elkhart Road, to a new building located just south of the existing building.

• Adopted the fiscal plan and annexation of real estate into the city of Goshen for the C.R. 26 (Midway Road)/Ashton Pines Annexation Area. The plan essentially involves the city’s plan to annex and provide services to the area generally located along both sides of C.R. 26 (Midway Road), west of C.R. 15 (Ferndale Road), east of C.R. 113, and south of Martin Avenue. The annexation area consists of 34 parcels of real estate, and encompasses approximately 33.56 acres. The population of the entire annexation area is estimated to be approximately 507 people. The total assessed valuation of real estate in the annexation area has been set at approximately $7.9 million.

• Adopted the fiscal plan and annexation of real estate into the city for the C.R. 27 (Dierdorff Road)/Carina Circle Annexation Area. The plan involves the city’s plan to annex and provide services to the real estate located south of Kercher Road, along both sides of C.R. 27 (Dierdorff Road), and north of C.R. 40 (Woodfield Road). The annexation area consists of 56 parcels of real estate, and encompasses approximately 33.74 acres. The population of the entire annexation area is estimated to be approximately 93 people. The total assessed valuation of real estate in the annexation area has been set at approximately $2.6 million.

 

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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