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The La Plata Town Council officially introduced a new ward map Tuesday, taking into account new U.S. Census data, projected growth within town limits and requirements for contiguous boundaries.

The town’s Board of Elections originally drafted a new ward map as part of a requirement to review the map every two years. The town council revised the map at a Nov. 13 work session.

The map divides the town into four wards to ensure that town council members reside in different parts of the town and are not all from one neighborhood. The map is required to have relatively balanced population totals in each ward and contiguous ward boundaries.

The new ward map places additional land in Wards I and IV.

Ward I now includes areas north of Charles Street to Kent Avenue, areas west of Kent Avenue north to Potomac Street, areas north of Potomac Street to the future Heritage Green Parkway, areas west of Heritage Green Parkway to the CSX railroad tracks and areas west of the future La Plata Parkway to Rosewick Road.

Ward II contains much of the future Heritage Green and Agricopia neighborhoods but lost some of those areas to other wards in the new map. Ward IV received southern portions of the future Heritage Green that used to be in Ward II and portions north of Charles Street and west of Kent Avenue that used to be in Ward III.

Ward III lost areas north of Charles Street but gained areas west of Oak Avenue that used to be in Ward IV.

The town’s population grew 33.5 percent between 2000 and 2010, though Wards II and III had the greatest population growth, according to U.S. Census data. As a result, those wards became disproportionately larger in terms of population. The town’s Board of Elections, and subsequently the town council, revised the map to balance the ward populations.

Under the ward map currently in place, Ward I would contain 1,774 people, 19.9 percent of the town; Ward II would contain 3,038 people, 34.7 percent; Ward III would contain 2,170 people, 24.8 percent; and Ward IV would contain 1,801 people, 20.6 percent.

The new ward map attempts to distribute the population more evenly, with Ward I containing 2,307 people, 26.4 percent; Ward II containing 2,486 people, 28.4 percent; Ward III containing 1,676 people, 19.1 percent; and Ward IV containing 2,284 people, 26.1 percent.

Each ward also has areas projected for growth within town boundaries in the next decade. Wards I, II and IV have portions of the unbuilt Heritage Green, Ward II has additional portions of Agricopia and Ward III has the Villages of Steeplechase.

Town gives beautification grants

The town gave two $500 grants Tuesday to beautify the town.

Boy Scout Daniel Ayers received a grant to revitalize the cemetery of Sacred Heart Catholic Church on St. Mary’s Avenue. The work is Ayers’ Eagle Scout project.

The Milton M. Somers Middle School Green Team received a grant to plant trees on the school’s premises in the spring.

pwarner@somdnews.com