Ward, district populations are out

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It is unlikely Freeborn County or Albert Lea will see any redistricting this spring as a result of population changes in the 2010 Census.

Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer Dennis Distad said the populations of all of the county districts and city wards are within the state guidelines.

A map of the commissioner districts in Freeborn County.

The guidelines suggest all district populations to be within 10 percent of the average population of all the districts within a county. The same applies to wards within a city.

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“It is my opinion and my recommendation to the board that the boundaries are within state range guidelines and that we do not need to redistrict any commissioner boundary lines,” Distad said.

The decision to redraw the county or city voting boundaries, however, is up to the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners and Albert Lea City Council.

The populations are within the guidelines, but the issue remains whether the present set of city and county leaders deem them to be fairly drawn.

The city wards and county commissioner districts have been in place since the early 1990s.

According to numbers provided by Distad, there are an average of 6,251 residents in each of the five commissioner districts within Freeborn County.

The smallest district is District 2, represented by Freeborn County Board Chairman Dan Belshan, with 5,657 people, and the largest is District 3, represented by Commissioner Jim Nelson, with 6,758.

A map of the wards in the city of Albert Lea.

There are 31,255 total residents.

In Albert Lea, the total population is 18,016, with an average of 3,003 residents in each of the six city wards.

The smallest district is the 6th Ward, represented by Councilor Minnow Brooks, with 2,834 residents, and the largest is the 4th Ward, represented by Councilor Reid Olson, with 3,088.


Freeborn County population by commissioner districts
District 1: 6,256
District 2: 5,657
District 3: 6,758
District 4: 6,007
District 5: 6,577
Total Freeborn County residents: 31,255
Average residents per district: 6,251

Albert Lea population by city wards:
Ward 1: 3,034
Ward 2: 2,947
Ward 3: 3,070
Ward 4: 3,088
Ward 5: 3,043
Ward 6: 2,834
Total Albert Lea residents: 18,016
Average residents per ward: 3,033

— Numbers updated after the 2010 Census