The Hickory City Council heard a presentation Tuesday on two ward maps up for consideration. The city of Hickory is required to redistrict because of significant population changes shown in the 2020 census.
Redistricting is needed if the population within any district is more than 5% above or below the ideal ward size. During this cycle, the ideal ward size — which is calculated by dividing the population by the number of wards — is a little more than 7,200.
Hickory Wards 1, 4 and 5 all fell below the acceptable range, while Ward 6 was too high. Wards 2 and 3 were within the acceptable range.
The options for solving that population imbalance were presented by Blake Esselstyn, a demographer who is working with Tharrington Smith, the Raleigh-based law firm the city has hired to help with redistricting.
The two options presented differed on a few points, but there were also key similarities between the two.
In both cases, part of what is currently Ward 6 would become Ward 5. A section of Ward 6 would move into what is now Ward 2.
Parts of Wards 3 and 5 would become Ward 4 to shore up the population there.
The council is expected to hold a public hearing on the maps in October. Hickory Communications Specialist Sarah Killian said the city will post interactive maps and additional redistricting information to the city website in advance of that meeting.