No concerns about Isanti County redistricting plan

April 18 hearing goes quickly

By Greg Hunt

The Isanti County Board hosted a public hearing on its proposed commissioner redistricting plan on Wednesday evening, April 18.

The changes from the existing district layout drew no opposition at the hearing, and the redistricting plan – which will be in place for the next 10 years – will seek approval at a special board meeting on April 25.

As listed in the April 11 NEWS, the major changes to the present commissioner districts will be Bradford Township moving from District 4 into District 3, with Athens Township shifting from District 3 into District 4. Minor adjustments to District 5 came from the city of Cambridge redrawing its lines for Precinct No. 2, along with a city of Isanti shift of 69 residents into District 3.

At the hearing, County Auditor Terry Treichel explained redistricting was necessary to deal with the county’s population shifts after data was received from the 2010 Census. An ideal median population for each district was set at 7,563, and the redrawn lines aimed to hold populations within 10 percent of that mark, which was achieved with the plan originally presented at the April 4 county board meeting.

Township boards and city officials made up the audience at the public hearing. The only public comment came from Bradford Township supervisor Richard Hanson.

“I would like to thank the commissioners and the staff for the extra work they did on the redistricting plan,” spoke Hanson. “We appreciate Bradford Township being grouped into District 3 with Spencer Brook and Stanford Townships since we are very similar in population and share roads together. Our (Bradford) board is in favor of the new plan.”

In other  action, the board:

• Accepted the request from IC Sheriff SGT Chris Caulk for a federal reimbursable $343,600 grant which will enhance the ARMER 800mhz radio system with improvements to the North Branch subsystem. Capacity will be added to the system which will help handle additional radio traffic. “We will have a very robust system after Chisago County adds more towers and channels through the help of this grant,” explained SGT Caulk.

• Accepted a $4,200 donation from the Friends of Cambridge Public Library which is earmarked to restore Saturday hours at the library after budget cuts were made earlier this year.

• Approved the Isanti County Sportsmen’s Club request to sell pull-tabs at The Hawk and the revived Dusty Eagle bars. Jim Fridstrom of the ICSC presented a full listing of the $37,680 donations the club made to area organizations and projects in 2011.

• Accepted a $5,518 Water Safety Grant and approved the Sheriff’s Office hirings of Aaron Erickson and Tony Nelson as part-seasonal boat patrol officers.

• Approved Auditor’s Office request to hire Karen Long as a full-time deputy auditor/treasurer, effective April 24.

Next meetings: Special meeting to approve redistricting Wednesday, April 25, 2 p.m.; next regular board meeting Wednesday, May 2, 9 a.m.