The Terre Haute City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday excluding federal prison inmates from the population that is considered in redistricting efforts.
In short, the move tells the city’s legal department which people to include when it redraws the lines for city council districts. Cities must redistrict every 10 years based on U.S. Census data.
District 3 Councilman Norm Lourdermilk says a federal prison complex was built in District 1 a few years ago, increasing the total number of people living in the area by about 3,200.
“So we’re removing them from the district dividing lines and redistricting efforts, but they’re obviously still a part of Terre Haute with the census and as far as federal money goes,” he says.
City attorney Chou-il Lee says his office couldn’t move ahead with the redistricting plans until the city council decided on the issue.
“As a second class city, we have to have 6 districts and the resolution that was passed last night is basically a jumping off point for my department so we know what number we’re looking at and what guidelines the city wants us to follow when coming up with these redistricting areas,” he says.
Lee says because the prison population is not included, District 1 will reach further south to include more residents. The legal department has 90 days to come up with a redistricting proposal and present it to the city council for approval.