Reynoldsburg City Council's finance committee agreed Monday, Sept. 17, to the latest proposed ward boundaries submitted by the Ward Boundary Commission.

Reynoldsburg City Council's finance committee agreed Monday, Sept. 17, to the latest proposed ward boundaries submitted by the Ward Boundary Commission.

Commission Chairman Preston Stearns presented a revised map that he said would better balance the city's population among the four council wards.

"We finished last week with the changes in the map that city council members had suggested and had all of our members approve it," Stearns said.

The city charter requires ward boundaries to be reviewed every 10 years.

Stearns said the current ward boundaries are unbalanced, with a majority of the population -- 11,518 residents -- in Ward 3. Ward 2 is home to 9,286 people, while Wards 1 and 4 have populations of 7,447 and 7,642, respectively.

He said the ward boundary population had "drastically changed" in the past 10 years, causing the disparity.

The Ward Boundary Commission has been meeting since July to redraw the boundaries for the council wards.

Council members reviewed an earlier map presented by the commission during a finance committee on Sept. 4, then asked if commission members could make slight changes in the map so small neighborhoods would not be split between wards.

Council then put off any action on the map during its Sept. 10 meeting so the commission could continue making changes to the map.

Stearns said the latest boundaries put 9,020 people in Ward 1; 8,883 in Ward 2; 8,906 people in Ward 3 and 9,084 people in Ward 4.

"All are within the 1 percent range in compliance with our guidelines," he said.

The Ward Boundary Commission worked with the firm Evans, Mechwart, Hambleton and Tilton (EMH&T) of New Albany to put each proposed map together.

In addition to Stearns, members are Vice Chairman Bruce Sowell, Robert Cook, Marshal Spalding and Ryan Brzezinski, a school board member.

Council President Doug Joseph said the latest map is more balanced.

"I think when we looked at the first version, we wanted to make sure some of the smaller neighborhoods were not split," he said. "Wards 1 and 4 have shrunk and 2 and 3 have grown. The new boundaries are more balanced and will stay in compliance longer."

Clerk of Council Nancy Frazier said the final map with the new boundaries would be drawn by EMH&T and an ordinance would be prepared.

"That ordinance will go back to committee meetings, then to city council meetings for further reading and discussion before it goes before council members for a final vote," she said.

Councilman Scott Barrett represents Ward 1; Leslie Kelly serves Ward 2; Cornelius McGrady represents Ward 3; and Mel Clemens represents Ward 4.

Barth Cotner, Chris Long and Nathan Burd are at-large members.