BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – Legislators have given the first step of approval for Steuben County’s legislative district lines to address population changes, marking the first major change in districts in decades, according to officials.

The Steuben County Legislature has given its “initial endorsement” to local legislative lines, according to an announcement from the county. The changes address a declining population in Hornell, an increase in Erwin’s residents, “sustaining the representation of communities with similar needs”, equal representation for county residents over the next decade, and New York State laws regarding county districts.

With population changes, the option for “weighted” legislative votes is more difficult, the announcement explained. In an effort to bring all voters into equal standing, the legislature endorsed the option to reduce the number of districts from 13 to 11 while maintaining 17 legislators.

The district changes would be as follows:

  • District 1 (City of Hornell) absorbs the current legislative district which includes the towns of Dansville, Hornellsville and Hartsville and maintains the current number of legislators assigned to both districts, with representation in the new district set at three legislators.
  • District 3 (Town of Bath) adds the Town of Bradford, with representation remaining at the current level with two legislators.
  • District 5 (Town of Urbana, Prattsburgh, Pulteney) adds the Town of Wayne, with representation remaining at the current level with one legislator.
  • District 7 (Town of Erwin) adds the Town of Campbell, and adds one legislator, bringing the total number of legislators representing the district up to two legislators.

The County said a public hearing on the endorsed option will be held later in June. The Legislature will then have final approval, and the decision will be subject to a public referendum in November 2022.

The announcement said this is the largest change since 1984. Voters at the time approved the change from a 34-member Board of Supervisors to the current 17 Legislators, according to the County.