Tom Eggers

Sheldon city councilman Tom Eggers comments on the proposed ward map for Sheldon during the city council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

SHELDON—Ward 2 will receive a bit of a face-lift with the proposed district map in Sheldon.

City manager Sam Kooiker gave the city council six different maps to look over during the meeting on Nov. 3. The council did not have to necessarily pick any of the maps, but option five stuck out to most of the council members.

“I like option five. As of today it’s the fairest split in population,” said councilman Brad Hindt. “You can’t tell what the population is going to be five years from now or 10 years from now in any of the districts. We assume Ward 1 is going to grow. But if you look at today, option five is the fairest.”

A motion was passed to have to use option five as the proposed district map in Sheldon. The map will come back to the council for approval once it is fully finished.

All of the options kept Sheldon in three wards. Ward 1 covers the eastern part of the city, Ward 2 covers a northwest portion and Ward 3 covers the southern and far west portion.

When the current map was drawn last decade, Ward 3 had the biggest population at 1,737. Ward 2 followed with 1,727 people and Ward 1 was right behind with 1,724.

Sheldon’s population has grown by 324 people since the last census.

Ward 2 would be the biggest section under the proposed map with 1,862 people. Ward 3 follows with 1,835 and Ward 1 has 1,815 people.

Ward 2 stretches from McKinley Street to Monroe Avenue in the current map with a slight part of it extending to Rainbow Drive. Ward 2 is separated from Ward 3 by West Eighth Street and extends north.

The proposed map stretches Ward 2 farther. Instead of stopping at Monroe Avenue and Rainbow Drive, Ward 2 would go past Village Northwest Unlimited all the way to Sunrise Park and Hy-Vee. But that eastward progress would only happen north of Park Street.

Ward 1 would bump into Ward 2 from Fourth Street to Sixth Street extending to Eighth Avenue. Ward 2 would still keep the area in between Sixth Street to Eighth Street from Eighth Avenue to Washington Avenue.

The change to Ward 2 is the only significant change as Ward 3 keeps its previous shape and the slight alterations to Ward 1.

Councilman Tom Eggers agreed with Hindt and liked option five.

“The objective of the census is to realign government so there is equal representation,” Eggers said. “Option five is that really. It gives representation to all wards and that’s our duty. What it is five years from now, 10 years from now is speculation. Ten years from now we will have another census to see if we need to move the mark now. If we keep the wards as close to equal representation, the activity in those wards are up to the representation.”

Councilman Ken Snyder represents Ward 2 and was asked what he thought of the map. Snyder won a special election to represent Ward 2 back in June after Shawn Broesder resigned. Broesder won the seat in 2017 based on a write-in campaign.

“We went through the whole process of trying to find a candidate for Ward 2. How the previous election was a write-in and then we got three candidates out of Ward 2 last time,” said councilman Wayne Barahona. “So underrepresented isn’t the right word but less engaged in the process. Thankfully, Ken, you decided to step up and serve and we appreciate you but getting to this point was like pulling teeth.”

Snyder was OK with how Ward 2 is drawn up in the proposed map and he got a chuckle out of the rest of the council.

“On the lighter side, which one of these would be the easiest work for me,” Snyder joked.

Other action the council took during the meeting included:

  • The sale of the former Budd-Z’s Sports & Grill and Rec Center property at 104 N. Third Ave. to John Van Gorp, the owner of Sheldon Power & Equipment, for $38,000.
  • Approving a six-month liquor license for La Pasada Mexican Restaurant & Bar
  • Approving a beer permit renewal for Hy-Vee Gas and a liquor license renewal for Hy-Vee.
  • Approving a liquor license renewal for the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center.
  • Setting a hearing on a 2021-22 fiscal year budget amendment for the 4:30 p.m. meeting today (Wednesday, Nov. 17).
  • Setting hearings for urban revitalization plan updates for Prairie Trail and Trilogy for the 4:30 p.m. meeting today (Wednesday, Nov. 17).
  • Defeasance of $3.4 million of taxable general obligation capital loan notes used to pay for the construction of the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center.
  • Passing the first reading of an ordinance allowing 60 days for an appointment versus special election decision to be made if there is an elected city office vacancy.