Portsmouth to consider ward description changes


By Frank Lewis

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Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen will present to Portsmouth City Council for their consideration changes in ward descriptions. Council will be asked to approve the preparation of legislation to amend the Ward Ordinance to clarify changes made as a result of the 2010 U.S. Census.

Allen will tell Council, recently, in preparation for the upcoming 2016 U.S. presidential elections, the Scioto County Board of Elections and the Scioto County Engineer’s Office began work to update and confirm ward and precinct maps for Scioto County.

The County Engineer’s Office informed Portsmouth City Clerk Diana Ratliff that his office was having difficulty mapping the city wards as described in the city’s latest ordinance.

In response to the inquiry, the city clerk and city solicitor joined Julia Gearheart, director of the Scioto County BOE and Paul Sheets from the Scioto County Engineer’s Office to review the ordinance description with the actual maps of the city. That review revealed some minor inconsistencies and several places where the engineer felt different language would be more appropriate to describe the intent of the legislation.

Allen said, should Council request legislation be prepared to adopt the changes, the engineer’s office will provide maps to attach to the amended ordinance for clarity. Her said it is not anticipated that the new maps will change anyone’s voting ward and the new ward maps should be incorporated into the county-wide GIS in the near future.

In July the city entered into an agreement that will form a partnership between the city of Portsmouth and Scioto County in the creation of a Geographic Information System (GIS).

In a general sense, the term describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares, and displays geographic information.

The financing agreement calls for the city to commit to $50,000 over two years, with $25,000 due immediately and another $25,000 due on July 1, 2016.

The GIS is expected to have all the infrastructure, water lines, sewer lines and streets and eventually law enforcement.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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