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Merrillville council considers redistricting 2 wards

Updated: December 15, 2012 6:33AM



MERRILLVILLE — Residents on the west side of town could vote for a new council member under a redistricting plan for two wards considered Tuesday by the Town Council.

Ward 4 would receive Precinct 30 from Ward 5, covering voters from U.S. 30 north to 78th Avenue and Hendricks Street east to Taney Street. If the change is approved, Precinct 30 voters would cast ballots for the seat of Tom Goralczyk instead of that held by Chrissy Barron.

Each ward needs to be as close to 5,035 residents as possible and Ward 5 has a population of 7,372, according to the 2010 census. By redistricting, Councilman Dan Pettit said, Ward 5 would fall to 7,041 residents while Ward 4 would grow to 4,756.

Although Ward 5 would still be outside the 15 percent margin, being about 30 percent larger than 5,035, wards are also required to be contiguous and rarely split voting precincts between wards.

The council would have to approve redistricting at the next council meeting on Nov. 27.

In other action, an aquatic center planned for the former Saturn car dealership on U.S. 30 is one step closer to reality after receiving a special exception from the council. The business plans to have a fitness center and an in-ground pool with a 14-foot diving well for scuba diving and swimming lessons. A scuba retail store and storage unit would also be located in the back of the facility.

Entrepreneur Doug Gossage, who also owns Goose’s Scuba in Dyer, said he hope to open the fitness center in mid-January, but the pool would not be ready until mid-year.



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