Special census creates new dollars and new ward for Byron

As a result of the growth the City of Byron has experienced since the 2000 census, the Byron City Council voted last year to conduct a special census to ensure the City is receiving the appropriate amount of state funding.

The special census, which focused mainly on the areas of recent growth, is now completed, and 862 residents have been added to Byron’s population. The cost of the special census to the City was approximately $56,000, and with the state allocating $100 to $130 per resident, this means an additional $86,000 to $112,000 that will be paid to the City each year in state funding. The cost of the special census will be recovered in less than one year.

Along with the additional funds, Byron’s population has now grown from 2,917 to 3,779, which mandates the creation of a new aldermanic ward by the April 2007 election. The City Council and city staff have been reviewing the census numbers to create four wards of approximately equal population. This redistricting should be completed by the Nov. 27 City Council meeting, even though the Illinois Municipal Code allows until Dec. 29 for this task to be completed. It is the goal of the mayor and City Council to complete the redistricting process as soon as possible to minimize the impact and/or confusion that may be created to any resident desiring to become a candidate for elected office within the City of Byron. The city attorney has already received preliminary approval from County Clerk Rebecca Huntley, who has also agreed to redistribute voter registration cards once the process has been completed.

Aldermanic seats up for election in April 2007 include one seat each in wards 1, 2 and 3. The newly created Ward 4 will have two alderman positions to fill. It is expected that candidate packets for those wishing to run for one of these positions should be available for pick up at Byron City Hall in early December. A preliminary map of the new wards is available at City Hall, and potential candidates are encouraged to review the new map to verify the ward in which they now reside.

From the Nov. 15-21, 2006, issue

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