Hammond council to debate remap

The City Council decided Tuesday to take up two proposed redistricting plans at its Dec. 18 meeting.

The council agreed to consider Hammond-Plan 1 and Hammond-Plan 2. The council must adopt one of the two after its 5:30 p.m. public hearing in the Council Chambers.

Council President Mike Williams said the council will discuss the merits of the two plans after the public hearing. The plans were drawn up by Redistricting LLC of Baton Rouge, a firm that specializes in designing voter districts.

The 2010 federal census set Hammond’s population at 20,015. As a result, Redistricting LLC determined that 4,003 would be the ideal number of residents in each of the five council districts.

Under Plan 1, District 5, currently represented by Williams, would have 176 residents above the ideal number while District 2, now represented by Bobby Martin, would have 140 residents under the ideal number.

Williams said under both plans, Westdale subdivision would be moved from his district to District 4, which is now represented by Lemar Marshall.

If Plan 2 is adopted, the largest deviation would be in District 2, with 177 residents below the ideal number, and District 5, with 176 more residents than the ideal number.

Plan 2 adds Lakewood subdivision to District 3, currently represented by Jason Hood. That area would be in Marshall’s district under Plan 1.

While most of the council districts would remain about the same as their current configurations, there are a number of changes suggested in the two plans, Williams said.

Williams asked residents interested in the makeup of the council’s future districts to attend the public hearing and voice their opinions.

Other items before the council included:

POLICE TASERS: The council unanimously agreed to provide $62,000 so the Police Department could buy 45 Taser weapons and cartridges.

SALES TAX REVENUE: Mayor Mayson Foster said November sales tax collections amounted to $1.38 million, a 6.76 percent increase over November 2011 collections.