The Pierce County Board of Supervisors approved the first step in the supervisor redistricting lines Tuesday night and changes could be in store.

With the county's population increasing by more than 4,000 residents over the last 10 years, the boundary lines were bound to change and the proposed tentative plan, which was approved, illustrated those changes, specifically in the Ellsworth, River Falls and Prescott areas.

If the proposed plan becomes permanent and barring any moves, the proposed lines have Greg Place, who represents District 12, now living in Don Rohl's District 11, and Chip Simones, who represents District 1, in Jerry Kosin's District 15.

The goal is to get the county's population of 41,019 into 17 districts with similar population figures. Corporation Counsel Brad Lawrence explained the board's approval Tuesday was the first step. The second step is the plan going to the municipalities to establish wards and have their say, and finally back to the board for final approval, which should be done by August or September.

The Pierce County portion of River Falls gained over 1,600 residents, while the City of Prescott is now over 4,200 people and the Village of Ellsworth is over 3,200 people.

Other action

The board approved a resolution supporting the planned Wisconsin Idea Partnership, which calls for keeping the current UW system intact. In lieu of the state's financial difficulties, UW-Madison administration proposed earlier this year separating from the UW system and operating more independently. The Partnership, created by the UW-Board of Regents, believes the Madison option is a bad idea, as according to its website (www.wisconsin.edu/wip/), "a proposal to split UW-Madison from the system will lead to inefficient duplication, harmful competition" as The Partnership will "advance the Wisconsin Idea - the longstanding premise that the boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state." The resolution was sent to all local elected officials, along with those associated with the UW system.

The board approved a memorial honoring Richard Truax, who died last month at age 86. Truax was on the board from 1992-2004, being board chair the last two of those years.