Commission inspecting, repairing voting houses

Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It’s more than six months until voters will head to the polls for the June 3 primary election, but the Butler County Commission has already begun to take measures to make sure the voting houses are in working order.

At Monday’s meeting, the commission discussed making necessary repairs to the voting houses in Garland and Providence.

According to District 1 Commissioner Joey Peavy, the Garland voting house needs roof and eave work, new siding and paint inside and out. He said the Providence voting house has a large crack in the wall and also needs paint inside and out.

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“We need to upgrade the condition of the voting facilities for the people in these areas,” Peavy said.

Peavy said he has also reached out to two companies that provide portable buildings equipped with restrooms to possibly use as voting houses in Garland and Providence, but has yet to hear back from either.

At its January 2012 meeting, the commission approved a motion to lease office containers for a 10-month period to serve as the voting precincts in the Friendship Community and Monterey after the locations previously used as voting houses were deemed unfit for use. The total cost for the two buildings would have been $6,528.50. Instead of leasing the buildings, the county purchased two buildings from a state surplus sale. The cost of the two units totaled $6,000.

“Everyone deserves to have a decent place to vote,” Commission Chairman Frank Hickman said. “The issue really comes down to cost and ownership.”

The commission agreed to accept bids from contractors for the cost of making the repairs to the voting houses in Garland and Providence. It also agreed to examine other polling places throughout the county that might be in need of repairs, such as the voting house in Midway.

Peavy said the voting house in Chapman, which the county leases from Coastal Forest Products, will receive repairs before the June primary.

“I talked with them and they said they’d make the repairs before June,” he said.