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Port of Pasco considers boundary changes

The Port of Pasco is considering a proposal to adjust the port commission district boundaries.

The idea is to more evenly distribute population across the three port commission districts for equal representation, said Jim Toomey, the port's executive director.

The boundaries technically need to be adjusted after every census but port officials decided to get started this year.

Then when the updated census numbers come out, only a few tweaks will be needed, said Toomey.

A public hearing on commission redistricting is at 1:15 p.m. today at the port office, 904 E. Ainsworth Ave.

The port has two options that would reduce the size of District 2. That district is the smallest geographically, but with 34,000 people, it has more population than the two other port commission districts combined, Toomey said.

District 2 includes west Pasco and extends from Sagemoor Road in the north to the Columbia River near the blue bridge.

District 1 includes areas east of Highway 395 and west to the Pasco-Kahlotus highway and has nearly 19,000 residents.

District 3 has the most land but only 12,500 people. It lies east of Oregon Avenue to the Snake River and includes Mesa, Eltopia and Connell.

The port is trying to create more compact districts, Toomey said.

"The law doesn't require us to have a perfect match (of residents). You're supposed to approach a balance," he said.

The new boundaries would take effect next year before the District 1 position is up for election.

-- Pratik Joshi: 582-1541; pjoshi@tricityherald.com; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com.

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