Amsterdam redraws lines for wards

AMSTERDAM – The Common Council has approved new lines for the city’s five wards, allowing Montgomery County to move forward with its plan to establish a system of nine legislative districts.

Among the changes to the city wards were individual blocks being reassigned from one district to another, according to Montgomery County Senior Planner Doug Greene. He said the average population of the blocks affected is about 50, based on the 2010 Census.

According to a map made by Greene, the northeastern part of the 1st Ward, around Clizbe Avenue and Crescent Avenue, will become part of the 2nd Ward. Also, small sections of the 4th Ward, down to just a few blocks bordered by Locust Avenue, Grand Street, Second Avenue and Milton Avenue, will become part of the 2nd Ward.

A section of the 2nd Ward – an area bordered by Union Street, Glen Avenue, Bunn Street, Henry Street, a section of Fairview Place from Henry Street to Orange Street and Orange Street itself – will be reassigned to the 3rd Ward.

The 5th Ward remains unchanged, according to the map.

County officials are expected to discuss the new legislative districts at tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting, set to begin at 7 p.m. in the County Office Building in Fonda.

Greene said alterations could be made to the proposed county legislative districts based on the city-ward changes.

In November, Montgomery County voters approved a new charter that will change the county’s form of government. The charter replaces the Board of Supervisors with a county legislature with nine members, one from each district, and an elected county executive. The new executive and legislators are to take office Jan. 1, 2014.

Root Town Supervisor and Board Chairman John Thayer and Greene on Feb. 13 showed county supervisors revisions to a previously proposed map of legislative boundaries. The changes include reassigning areas with roughly 200 residents – mostly from the city – to different districts. Very small parts of Fort Plain and Palatine – with just three residents each – would be reassigned to different districts as well.

These changes were put into place to eliminate small election districts that would require excessive paperwork, equipment and costs, Thayer said.

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