Iberville losing population, consultant says

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

Current population trends indicate Iberville Parish has lost two percent of its population – about 800 residents – since the 2000 Census, a reapportionment consultant told the Iberville Parish Council.

The projection was from Glenn A. Koepp of Redistricting LLC, the firm the council agreed to hire to draft a reapportionment plan based on the 2010 Census.

Government bodies are required to reapportion themselves after each 10-year census to assure compliance with the U. S. Supreme Court's “one man, one vote” mandate.

After the 2000 Census, the ideal Iberville Parish Council district had 2,563 residents; next year the ideal will be around 2,500, according to Koepp's figures. The council has 13 members elected from single member districts.

Koepp said the new census figures would be available in mid to late February, giving the council a short time frame to approve a new plan and get clearance from the U. S. Justice Department.

“It's a pretty fast track,” the consultant said. “Last time, you had four years to complete the process.”

If the population has not shifted much, the council might be lucky enough to “declare yourself okay” and stay with the current districting plan, Koepp said.

The population trend data he presented showed the parish's population had dropped from 33,320 in 2000 to an estimated 32,505 last year, a drop of 815.

The estimate is that the parish lost 358 white residents and 545 black residents, but gained 89 residents of other races, giving the parish a racial make-up of 49.5 percent white, 49.3 percent black and 1.1 percent “other.” The latter is an increase from 0.82 percent.