May 24th, 2012 | City

Aldermen approve ward map

Ward 1 will remain the Yale ward for the next decade, following the conclusion of the Board of Aldermen’s redistricting process.

In a vote by the full Board earlier this week, aldermen approved a final ward map for New Haven that balances the population within each of the city’s 30 wards. Yale’s Ward 1 will expand to the south and east, but will largely maintain its status as the Yale student district in the Elm City.

Early in the redistricting process, a warning from a former alderman to avoid crossing General Assembly district lines in the redistricting process seemed to threaten the makeup of Ward 1, which currently straddles three state legislative districts. But aldermen largely ignored that advice — they received a rebuke from Republican Registrar of Voters Rae Tramontano at a public meeting for doing so before the full Board meeting, according to the New Haven Independent.

The new Ward 1, represented by current alderwoman Sarah Eidelson ’12, adds three extra blocks to make up for a relative population decrease over the past 10 years, expanding south to Crown Street between York and College Streets and east to Orange Street between Wall and Elm Streets. While the additions will add over 300 non-Yale voters to Ward 1, the ward still consists of students living on Old Campus and in Berkeley, Calhoun, Trumbull, Pierson, Jonathan Edwards, Branford, Pierson and Davenport Colleges, as well as many who live off campus.

Aldermen are also set to vote on the city budget at a special Board meeting May 29. The $486.4 million budget, which represented a compromise between Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s administration and a labor-backed majority of aldermen on the Board, was passed last week by the Board’s finance committee.

The budget modified several parts of the budget proposal that DeStefano sent to the Board in March, including cutiting a new police communications position, parking fees at Lighthouse Point Park and a property revaluation in two years. But it approved other items much sought after by both DeStefano and the Board, including construction and renovation at Helene Grant School and the New Haven Academy and a schools study championed by Board President Jorge Perez.

The budget, once passed, will come into effect on July 1.