Mason City council passes first reading of ordinance setting precinct, ward boundaries

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved the first reading of an ordinance that sets the new map for the city’s wards and precincts based on data from the 2020 Census.

Director of Development Services Steven Van Steenhuyse says for the majority of the city, things will remain the same, except for about 12 households in the area of MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center switching from the Second Ward to the Fourth Ward.  “When they first came out, I looked at the line that separates Ward Two from Ward Four and thought it goes right behind Mercy, but I was wrong, it goes up to State Street. So those houses on the south side of State Street and a couple of houses on Linden Drive right next to the hospital where it expanded a few years ago, are going to be going from Ward Two to Ward Four. So there are going to be a few families that are going to be changing their polling location.”

County Auditor Adam Wedmore told the council that not only those impacted by the change will be notified, but all voters in the county will be notified by mail of their precincts and wards. “Regardless if you move precincts or wards or not of which precinct you live in and where your polling location will be, once the new precincts and wards are effective January 15th of next year. We will likely time that closer to an election, that way it’s more fresh in everybody’s minds. Also, they will be able to contact our office at any time, and there will be a tool on our website that they can look up which polling location they will be voting at as well.”

The council unanimously passed the first reading of the ordinance, with the council scheduled to pass the second and third readings during their regular meetings in December.