Redistricting in Rock Island County has been pushed back after the state of Illinois unexpectedly moved the deadline from July to the end of December for a final map to be redrawn and submitted to County Clerk Karen Kinney.
County board members voted in April to downsize the board from 25 to 19 members and reapportion the districts. A contract was approved in May with Berteau Consulting, LLC and Grapple, LLC, at a cost of $15,000 to redraw the districts.
Members of the governance, health and administration committee meeting on Monday approved extending the contract through the end of December for an additional $8,000. The extension must be approved by the full board at the July 20 regular meeting.
"With the state changing the time frame, it allows us the opportunity to ensure the actual census data is utilized," said County Board Chairman Richard Brunk.
Brunk said the American Community Survey (ACS), a division of the Census Bureau, should have updated 2020 census numbers available by September for the county to use in their remapping process.
Brunk said Berteau Consulting and Grapple had not yet submitted a recommended map.
"It wasn't long after we entered into this contract that the state changed the rules," he said.
Board Vice Chairman Brian Vyncke said it was "unfortunate the way (the decision) came down. I know it's a little bit more money than we planned to spend, but I think in the long run, it's obviously something we have to do."
Drue Mielke said the cost was justified because the consulting firm will end up doing more work.
"This will be hard census data," said Committee Chairman Jeff Deppe. "This will be using 2020 data, so that's the good news."
Once districts are redrawn, the change will take effect with the November 2022 election. All board members must run for re-election at that time. If there is more than one party candidate per district, the primary election will take place June 28, which was pushed back from March.