Thirty Day Comment Period Open for Prowers District Changes

Commissioner Henry Schnabel

The Prowers County Commissioners are extending a decision date by thirty days, to allow citizens time to ask questions or make recommendations on the proposed district changes in Prowers County. A public hearing was held during the commissioner’s meeting on Thursday, July 14. Only a handful of citizens attended, asking questions to clarify the intricate phrasing on how the new districts would be partitioned to correct a population imbalance, highlighted by the 2010 Census. The commissioners said they could enact a resolution this week, but decided to keep the comment period open before the state deadline had to be met.

Commissioner Henry Schnabel said it had been forty years since the districts were corrected for population shifts. Schnabel’s District One had only 19% of the population, District Two under Joe Marble had 35% of the county’s population and District Three under Gene Millbrand had 46%. The new boundaries will alter that to 33%-34%-34%, more in line with the Census guidelines. District One will contain more land, as CR 19, which had been the north/south dividing line between that district and the other two, has been replaced by highway 287, extending north along CR 8, the May Valley highway. The proposed district changes are available for viewing on the Prowers County website.

The commissioners stressed that the new boundaries were created without thought to political party affiliation, although now all three districts will include a portion of the city of Lamar. Any future commissioner could reside inside the city limits pending approval of the new districts. Commissioner Gene Millbrand said that to his knowledge, he was the first commissioner in the county’s history who is not specifically agriculture based by district. He explained that even though a commissioner might live within the city limits, that person could still provide as much representation to the farm/ag community in the county as before. County recommendations for the new districts must be submitted to the state by September 30. After that, Prowers County Clerk and Recorder, Jana Coen, will adjust the district changes for all future elections.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarWiley


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