County to rent portable offices to serve as voting precincts

Published 1:55 pm Monday, January 9, 2012

Butler County will pay more than $6,000 to rent two portable office containers that will serve as voting precincts for the upcoming election cycle.

At Monday’s Butler County Commission meeting, commissioners agreed to lease two office containers for a 10-month period to serve as the voting precincts in the Friendship Community and Monterey. The total cost for the two buildings will be $6,528.50.

It will mark the second consecutive election cycle that the Commission has used a portable office to serve as the precinct in Monterey. The need to rent a building for the Friendship Community came about when the Commission learned about roofing problems with the Friendship Community Club.

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“We were notified recently that the Friendship Community Club’s roof is caving in, and given the fact that the primary election is in March this year, we did not feel that there was time to get it repaired before the primary election,” County Administrator Diane Kilpatrick said. “Therefore, we will be renting a 40-foot office container building.”

The cost for renting the building to be used in the Friendship Community will be $391.71 a month.

Commissioner Frank Hickman said the county needs to address a number of issues with its voting precincts.

“We’re making due with voting locations, but we need to find a permanent solution,” he said. “… We need to try and provide a better place for people to go and vote. That needs to be a priority for whoever the next Commission is.”

Hickman said he liked the idea of using volunteer fire department stations throughout the county to serve as precincts.

“It provides a little money for them, and in most cases, those buildings have people who are around and looking after the property,” Hickman said.

The Commission did renew its lease with the Searcy Volunteer Fire Department to use its building as a voting precinct for the next five years at a cost of $1,250 a year.