County won’t redistrict before next election

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Freeborn County commissioners agreed not to change their electoral districts for the next election in November.

Increasing numbers of residents in surrounding areas of Albert Lea, along with a decrease in rural areas, has widened the population gap among districts.

While the third district that covers precinct one of Albert Lea Township and wards four and five of the city of Albert Lea has 7,153 residents, the second district consisting of the east half of county’s rural area has 5,966, according tothe 2000 Census.

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But, the variance still falls within 10 percent from 6,517, the average population for each district. State law mandates redrawing the districts if a district population exceeds the 10-percent threshold.

The board’s decision confirmed the commissioners’ election in November will take place only in the second and fourth districts, currently served by Dan Belshan and Dave Mullenbach.

In other county business, the board assented to a recommendation of the Environmental Services Department to issue a permit for the construction of a new swine facility in Bath Township.

Area residents have objected the location of the location of the facility, concerned their property values would be affected.

But the county authority found the state ordinance regulating a minimum distance from existing residences, roads and ditches made it impossible to have an alternative site.

The board also approved:

A liquor license for Hutch’s Corner Restaurant & Bar in Hayward Township.

A structural test of county roads by hiring a firm specialized in that field.