The Pataskala wards and boundaries commission will complete its charter duty Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. in council chambers when it holds a final meeting to redraw Pataskala's four wards based on population changes documented by the 2010 census.

The Pataskala wards and boundaries commission will complete its charter duty Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. in council chambers when it holds a final meeting to redraw Pataskala's four wards based on population changes documented by the 2010 census.

"The work is done and the boundaries are approved," said commission chair Pete Nix. "We will provide a map and a detailed written description of the wards."

The main charge of the commission is to equalize the populations of each ward, so that representation on council reflects a balanced portion of the city's total population.

"The core of the wards is the same," Nix said. "We were able to keep all the neighborhoods and developments in the same ward without splitting neighborhoods. The biggest change is we had to move a sizeable chunk of Ward 2 into other wards to keep them substantially equal. The second ward grew much faster than the other wards."

The difficulty is that achieving precise equality requires drawing complex boundaries that do not appear logical and break up neighborhoods. To alleviate the problem, the wards are drawn with some variation, so that small inequalities in population result in more coherent boundaries.

Under the Pataskala city charter, city council is not required to act on the commission's work, but Nix said the commission would make a presentation to council in August.

"We will present either Aug. 8 or Aug. 22," Nix said. "We'll try to have as many commission members at the meeting as possible."

The commission has done a lot of technical work, especially to translate census data into street address data, which members say is a cumbersome process.

Because of historical practices of the census, stretching all the way back to the 18th century, census data does not track with modern street addresses. As a result, commission members have to look at each census tract to determine if it has any structures or population. In some cases, census tracts are as small as driveways.

The Aug. 4 meeting should be brief, Nix said, because the work is largely done.

"I hope this meeting will be 15 or 20 minutes," Nix said. "We're just wrapping up, and one of the agenda items is to pass along whatever written advice we can to the commission that will do this in again 2021."