County approves new magistrate districts map

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

The Fiscal Court approved the new reapportionment map at their meeting on June 27, which gives new boundaries for magistrate districts.

Counties go through reapportionment every 10 years based on new census data and how populations have changed within each district. A citizen group of three people in Boyle County have been working with Bluegrass Area Development District to redraw the boundaries.

Boyle County Clerk Casey McCoy had presented their first draft of the map at the previous court meeting, but magistrates sent it back to the drawing board after expressing some concerns. McCoy brought a second option to this meeting, which the court approved.

Email newsletter signup

Districts must have the same population within 10% of each other. McCoy said it’s better to have populations within 5% of each other, which the first draft of the new map did.

With population shifts and increases, District 4 has to become smaller and Districts 1 and 2 must become larger. On the old map, District 1 is under 316 people, District 2 is under 127 people, District 3 is over 83, District 4 is over 438, and Districts 5 and 6 are about where they need to be.

On the final version of the new map, District 3 loses the area from Caldwell Road to the Danville city limits, and that area goes to District 1. District 4 loses the area from HWY 150 to HWY 52 to the Garrard County line, which will now be part of District 2.

District 2 is losing a small area west of Upper Salt River Road to Lebanon Road, which will go to District 1. District 1 is losing a small area between Carpenter Creek Road and Wolford Road, which will go to District 2. The Districts 1 and 2 boundary at Johnson Branch Road is staying the same.

New magistrate districts map that was approved.

District 6 is changing slightly, in response to magistrates’ concerns with the first option of the map.

On the first option of the map, District 4 would’ve lost the area of HWY 127 to Shakertown Road, which would’ve gone to District 1. District 4 Magistrate Jason Cullen expressed concerns that District 1 shouldn’t expand too far northeast, in order to maintain the general characteristics of District 1.

District 1 Magistrate Tom Ellis also had concerns about trying to keep the balance between districts, since his area has to expand east. The court wanted to make sure that possible future magistrates in any of the new areas are able to properly represent their district at large.

As a result, the final map keeps most of HWY 127 to Shakertown Road in District 4. However, District 6 gains the area from the northern Danville city limits to HWY 2168.

“I think it’s more of what you were asking for, but just know that there’s literally not another thing that can be changed on there with this new option, to the fact that it would be over the 10% range,” McCoy said.

McCoy explained that with the first option they were trying to keep population totals within 5% of each other, but that having populations within 10% on this final version is still legal.

“The first option was more trying to keep the rural parts of the county rural and the city parts city, and this option does the same,” McCoy said.

The old population totals and new balanced totals for each district are as follows: District 1 had 4,531, and will now have 4,893; District 2 had 4,720, and will now have 4,894; District 3 had 5,440, and will now have 5,237; District 4 had 5,795, and will now have 5,368; District 5 had 5,106 and will stay the exact same; District 6 had 5,022, and will now have 5,116.

Magistrate Paula Bodner said she is sad to be losing some areas, but happy to be gaining other areas.

“I do hate losing half the side of one of my roads on Upper Salt River because I’ve got good friends and people there and I will lose them, but I’m sure that Tom [Ellis] will take good care of them,” Bodner said. “Plus I’m getting some new areas and new people.”

The changes will go into effect on Nov. 8.