Project Summary (Project No. A2116)
The Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District is a special purpose district authorized under Title 57 Revised Code of Washington (RCW). The District is governed by five (5) commissioners who set the policies and rates of the District. The District is divided into five distinct commissioner districts; each represented by a resident elected from that commissioner district to serve a six-year term of office.
Redistricting is the process of redrawing district boundaries to adjust for population changes that occurred in the last decade. Every 10 years, the District goes through the redistricting process to create commissioner districts that are relatively equal in population to ensure all residents of the District have access to fair representation. Per RCW 29A.76.010(3), the District is required to “prepare a plan for redistricting its internal or director districts” within eight months of receipt of the federal decennial census data. However, a number of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have delayed the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of population data specific to the District (data was originally scheduled to be released in Spring 2021). As a result, this project was postponed until the District received the necessary population data in the fall of 2021.
FLO Analytics (FLO) will assist the District in completing the redistricting process within the statutory deadlines and requirements.
Task 1—Data Collection
FLO will collect and compile all data required to perform the demographic services. This includes the 2020 TIGER/Line shapefiles for Census tract, block group and block geographies, the 2020 P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data shapefiles, and the 2020 P.L. 171 Redistrict Data summary files. FLO will also collect data related to communities of interest within the District, as reported by District staff and the public, via a public comment period.
The data and any other information identified during the project will be loaded into FLO’s demographic analysis and mapping tools, compiled into a geodatabase, and submitted to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office following completion.
Task 2—Redistricting Analysis
FLO will develop three initial commissioner district boundary options for review by the District. This will include development of option maps that comply with state, local, and federal legal requirements and consider any feedback provided by the District or the public. Each initial option map will include accompanying demographic tables and a brief narrative description of the scenario.
Task 3—Options Review Meeting
FLO will provide a virtual presentation to the Board of Commissioners and public during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board to review the initial commissioner district boundary option maps. During the meeting, the Board and public will have the opportunity to suggest changes to the boundary options. FLO will then make any suggested boundary changes during the meeting and recalculate population and other metrics to ensure the changes comply with state and federal laws.
Task 4—Finalize New Commissioner District Boundaries
FLO will deliver copies of the accepted commissioner district boundaries to the District. Additionally, FLO will provide the District with a link to a public-facing map of the new commissioner district boundaries.
- Task 1—Data Collection—complete
- Task 2—Redistricting Analysis—underway
- Task 3—Options Review Meeting—February 23, 2022
- Task 4—Finalize New Commissioner District Boundaries— Adopted at the the March 30, 2022 Board meeting via Resolution 882
The total project cost is estimated to be $5,000.