Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Medina 66°
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Medina County commissioners approve purchase of new voting machines

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MEDINA — Medina County commissioners approved Tuesday the purchase of new voting machines voters will see in time for the next presidential election.

The state had previously agreed to provide $1.8 million for the county’s purchase of 750 machines at a cost of nearly $3 million. That left a significant amount for the county to pick up and local officials previously said the costs was more than they anticipated.

As such, the county’s share of $1,031,059 will be financed through Huntington Public Capital Corp.’s master lease agreement.

Commissioners Colleen Swedyk and Pat Geissman both said they wished the county wasn’t mandated to purchase 750 machines (Ohio law requires one machine for every 175 voters) for the Medina County Board of Elections. There is more early voting, according to Swedyk.

“The mandate should be lowered,” she said.

County Administrator Scott Miller said last week the cost of the voting machines wasn’t included in the 2019 budget.

“We had to have them in place by November in order to use them next year (for the presidential election),” he said.

Originally, county officials thought the Ohio secretary of the state would foot the entire bill for the voting machines.

The first payment of $270,000 will be due this month, with three annual payments of $270,613.78 due on the anniversary of the agreement in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The machines are manufactured by Election Systems & Software.

In other news

  • Commissioners also decided Tuesday to purchase radio equipment that will be placed on the Hinckley water tower, which will improve radio coverage in Brunswick, Brunswick Hills Township and Hinckley Township for the Medina County Sheriff’s Office. Instead of financing the cost of the equipment, the county will cut a check for about $250,000.
    Miller said it will use a $100,000 donation from NEXUS on the radio equipment. NEXUS’ stipulation was that it be used for the sheriff’s communication system. NEXUS is also donating $100,000 to the Medina County Emergency Management Agency, which will apply the funds to its proposed new building.
  • Commissioners also made some decisions on the Human Services Center, 246 Northland Drive, Medina. The southeast wall is showing major wear and tear and needs to be replaced at a cost of $175,000.
    “The southeast wall has to be done,” Medina County Maintenance Superintendent Steve Bastean said. “We just have to figure out how to pay for it.”
    By deciding to move ahead with the wall, Miller said the Medina County Jail’s parking lot won’t be repaved this year.
    A second project at the Human Services Center won’t be fixed this year, either, as the pedestrian bridge and canopy will have to wait until later, Miller said. That would have cost $175,000 to replace, there are not adequate funds to cover the expense.
    “There’s a misconception we have money to do to these things,” Miller said. “It’s a tight year for the upkeep of these buildings.”
  • The Medina County Solid Waste Management District must begin its five-year solid waste management plan update by June 23 in accordance with Ohio Revised Code. It must have a draft done by Sept. 23, 2020, and have it finalized and submitted to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency by Dec. 23, 2021.
    Sanitary Engineer Amy Lyon-Galvin is requesting proposals for a consultant for the preparation of the five-year plan update.
    She will review proposals and to make a recommendation to the Solid Waste Management District.
    According to the Ohio EPA, the plan serves two functions: It provides for the safe management of the solid waste generated, and demonstrates how the district will achieve the goals established by the state.
  • Medina County Finance Director Mike Pataky said year-end projections are that the county will spend $42.7 million, about 4 percent under 2019’s original budget of $43 million.
  • Commissioners will soon start a Facebook page in the next couple of weeks. Commissioners approved a social media policy Tuesday. Rhonda Beck and Megan Holly will administer the page, which will be used to disseminate public service announcements, emergency/crisis communication, interactive conversations about current events and information about upcoming events.
    Commissioners said the most expeditious way to communicate with the public is to work in partnership with traditional news media while also directly communicating through digital media platforms. They said several county departments have recognized the value of a social media presence and have achieved incredible success in the public outreach and engagement.
  • Two Medina County Career Center students in construction trades were commended by commissioners Tuesday. Colton Carpenter, construction trades class president, and Ross Serafin, Ohio SkillsUSA HVAC gold medal winner, were given resolutions.
    Students in these programs will be signing “letters of intent” for job offers in the skilled trades, a sector in high demand that continues to face an immense labor shortage. The career center partnered with SkillsUSA and Klein Tools to empower the next generation of workers to enter the trades.
    SkillsUSA said by 2025, there will be 3.4 million new manufacturing jobs available.
  • Commissioners commended students who graduated from Leadership Medina County Signature Class of 2019: Carey Bates; Kristopher Conwill; Pamela Crombie; Robin Dillon; Maureen Dowell; Dustin Fowkes; Tara Haley; Drew Hall; Jessica Hazeltine; Lisa Keltz; Edward Kinney; Joseph Kott; Jamie Marks; Amber McClain; Michael To. McClowry; Sherry McGraw; Matthew McKelvy; Jennifer Moore; Kent Morgan; Richard Muniak; Debra Oda; Kimberly Oliver; Nancy Peacock; Cindy Phillips; Kelly Prostor; Mary Raitano; Andrea Reedy; Lissette Rivera; Richard Shewbridge; Michael Smiechowski; Jill Teubl; Jeremy Webb; Annette Wissel; Kara Wolff; Joe Zingaro.
  • Commissioners honored Jack Forster as Joint Veterans Coalition’s Medina County Veteran of the Year and Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell as Veteran Advocate of the Year.
  • John Charles Porter was congratulated on his retirement as Chatham Township zoning inspector after 11 years of service.
  • Proceeds from the Commissioners Ball are in. Medina Creative Housing gets a check for $11,000 and both First Impressions and Living Doll each get $5,500.
Contract reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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