By Nicole Tull
The DeSoto Parish Police Jury had a committee meeting on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at 2:30 pm. There was to be a discussion for the broadband network in the parish to incorporate Pelican and Logansport. Mr. Jason Hunt with Swift Fiber was unavailable for the meeting to discuss such. However, there were not enough funds available to move the process along anyway. The topic was deleted from the agenda items with a 100% vote and the meeting resumed.
The agenda item that consumed the entire meeting was formulating a plan for the 2020 Census District Determination. Mike Hefner with Geographic Planning & Demographic Services, LLC. presented his proposal to the juror members. Since there has been population growth at the north end of the parish, the district lines will need to shift northward to balance the districts.
Considerations for moving the lines are demographics and not being able to split a census block. A physical feature such as a municipality line or road is needed to encase a blocked portion to be considered for each district. Jurors living in their district was also a heavy consideration making the mapping process difficult sometimes.
The proposed new lines did not make the jurors satisfied for many reasons. The jurors negotiated amongst themselves and with Mr. Hefner as to their voiced concerns for preferences. Many options were presented to the jurors to see if the balance requirements could be met. The jurors and Mr. Hefner finally agreed upon a tentative mapping. There is still a process of approval and finalization to be sent to the Secretary of State before anything will be known.
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