It is time to file for Augusta City Council candidates. Those wanting to be included on the April 2 ballot have until noon on January 22 to register their intent.
Filing costs $10 but the fee may be waived if you present a petition with 50 voters from within your ward.
Only Cale Magruder, a Ward 3 resident, has officially filed to run so far.
The current council members who are up for election are recent appointee Mike Martin in Ward 1, Mike Huddleston in Ward 2, Mike Rawlings in Ward 3 and Ron Reavis in Ward 4.
Make sure you look at the new ward map approved by the governing body at Monday's meeting before you file.
The changes in the map were brought about by population fluctuations noticed in the 2010 census. According to City Clerk Erica Jones, that census showed Ward 1 with 2,177 residents, Ward 2 with 2,651, Ward 3 with 1,797 and Ward 4 with 2,645.
State statute requires that the wards be equal in population. So Jones, on the direction of some council members, offered a redrawn ward map that accomplished the goals of evening out the total residents, not displacing a council member from his/her ward and keeping the lines clear and distinct.
The major differences between the old and new maps are the shrinking geographic boundaries of wards two and four.
Ward 2 lost some ground to Ward 1, which will grow by taking in the area south of Kelly between Money and State streets.
Ward 2 also loses an area east of Custer between 85 and 90th street. Ward 3 will gain that ground as well as taking a large portion of Ward 4 contained between 90th and 85th and Ohio and Custer.
The new population total includes Ward 1 with 2,549, Ward 2 with 2,238, Ward 3 with 2,247 and Ward 4 with 2,236.
Jones explained that the disparity between Ward 1 and the other wards is due to the 2010 census being skewed by the influx of construction workers into the city's mobile home park during the construction of the pipeline through the area at about the time the census was taken. Jones estimated the city has lost about 300 people from Ward 1 since that project was completed.
The council unanimously approved the new ward map with Ron Reavis absent from the meeting.