Commissioners OK purchase of new voting machines, mull facilities master plan
[Tiffin, OH Jan. 15, 2019] – Seneca County Commissioners approved the purchase of new voting machines Tuesday morning.
County Board of Elections Deputy Director Lori Ritzler said the goal is for the machines to be used during the May primary election.
The machines are to cost about $1,065,000 with an annual price of about $16,000 in years 2-5. In year six, an additional yearly fee, which could be about $60,000, is likely.
The board previously set aside about $500,000 for the machines and the state is to contribute $648,392 to the purchase.
The machines are to be purchased from Election Systems and Software, of Nebraska. The new voting equipment will streamline and speed up the election voting and tabulation processes while maintaining security.
In other action, the board received estimates from CT Consultants and Gossman Group for the architectural and engineering work on a facilities master plan. The plan would map the future of all county-owned buildings. Gossman Group’s cost estimate is $72,500-$89,500 and CT’s estimate is $69,000-118,000. The commissioners are expected to make a decision about the plan next week.
Also during the meeting, Lewis Hurst of the Seneca County Opportunity Center informed the board of some building improvements needed at the opportunity center. He said the building’s roof is 25-years-old, but it only had a 20-year expected lifespan. The building also needs to have its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system replaced. Two other alternative projects are possible. The funding for the project is to be covered by the opportunity center, with no cost to the county. The county does, however, have to set a time, date and place for bids. The bid opening is scheduled for Feb. 14.
In other business, the commissioners voted 2-1, (Commissioner Shayne Thomas dissenting), to get a third appraisal for property adjacent to Seneca County Airport.
The property could be purchased by the county with a 90-percent reimbursement from the Federal Aviation Administration, but that reimbursement funding is only available this year. After two appraisals, the owner of the property, Airport Operator Brad Newman, and the county, have not been able to agree on a price.
The cost of the third appraisal is $2,500. If the county purchases the land, which could potentially be used for airport expansion, 90 percent of the appraisal cost would also be covered by the FAA.
At the beginning of the meeting, the board finalized 2019 committee assignments and elected Commissioner Mike Kerschner as vice president.
During appropriations, the board approved all of the appropriations from yesterday’s agenda and:
* A $1,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for equipment.
* A $406.91, $5.90 and a $56.97 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund on behalf of the Seneca County Auditor.
* The disposal of a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria (for $350), a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria ($805) and a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria ($652).