New districts reflect population shifts in St. John

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2011



LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Tuesday introduced an ordinance that will draw new council boundaries following the 2010 census.

The plan will be discussed and voted on at the council’s next meeting, scheduled for May 10 in Edgard.

South Central Planning and Development, the group hired to handle redistricting for the council, had previously presented three alternatives for consideration.

After two public meetings on both sides of the river, the council opted to move forward with the alternative that offered the least tweaking of present lines, otherwise known as alternative 1.

Under the plan, the parish’s two at-large districts remain the same, but each council district is adjusted so that four of the seven districts would have significant African-American Majorities, up from three under the current map from the 2000 census.

Districts 1, 3, 4 and 6 would be majority African-American, while Districts 2, 5 and 7 would be majority white.

The change was needed because the percentage of African-Americans in the parish’s population grew from 45 percent to 54 percent. The total population in the parish jumped from 43,044 in 2000 to 45,924 in 2010.

During the discussion, the council also agreed to alter the alternative being considered based on public discussion during previous public meetings. The plan under consideration called for a split of the northernmost portion of the Riverlands Subdivision where half of Oak Point Drive would be in District 7 and the other half in District 4. The altered plan keeps both sides of the street in District 7.

The council also decided to move the neighborhood around Holly Drive, which would have been in District 1, into District 5.

All maps and accompanying demographic information can be found at South Central Planning’s website,, under the St. John Parish tab. Printed versions are also available at the Parish Council office at the Percy Hebert Building, 1801 W. Airline Highway, LaPlace.

In other action from Tuesday, the council honored the St. John Parish Warriors, 12-year old All-Star Biddy Basketball Team, which won a national tournament in Madisonville earlier this month. The team achieved a record of 30-3, and four of the team’s players were named All-Americans.

“This team has been together for almost seven years,” said Coach Alton Long Jr. “They have worked hard to achieve this title and many other titles in the past. On behalf of all of the coaches, we are very proud of our team.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the parish’s Finance Department received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. It is the eighth consecutive year the finance department has achieved the honor from the Government Finance Officers Association.

“I would like to commend our entire finance staff for a job well done and thanks to our administration for their support in providing us with the necessary tools to continue this form of recognition,” said Parish Finance Manager Vince Lucia.