July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Medina County Elections board wants bigger facility

MEDINA — The Medina County Board of Elections says it needs bigger quarters.

Board member Bill Heck presented a detailed proposal Monday to county commissioners, who must approve and pay for the relocation.

The Medina County Board of Elections' current location, at 4210 N. Jefferson St., Medina Township. County commissioners are considering a proposal to move the board offices a block north, to a storefront facing Stonegate Drive. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

Heck said the board would like to move its offices in June from 4210 N. Jefferson St., Medina Township, a block north to 3800 Stonegate Drive, a building at the north end of the shopping plaza that includes Hobby Lobby and Kohl’s, next to Walmart on Pearl Road.

The building is unoccupied but it had housed the Medina Library for a little more than two years while the main library downtown was renovated. The library reopened in January 2008.

Heck said the relocation would provide more space for the office’s eight full-time staff and 702 voting machines.

“Because of our number of machines, staff and files for record-keeping, we want to move forward with relocation,” Heck said.

He said the Stonegate Drive building is 13,795 square feet while the North Jefferson space is 4,795 square feet.

The additional space would come with a higher price tag.

Heck said the elections board pays $57,300 in annual rent, $6,303 for utilities and $7,362 in janitorial service, maintenance and other charges for a total of $70,965.

The Stonegate building would cost nearly three times as much: $147,606 in rent, $36,019 for utilities and $21,318 in other charges for a total of $204,944.

The cost estimates don’t include the expense of moving, rewiring and other changes needed.

Commissioner Steve Hambley said money will be a big factor in the commissioners’ decision whether to agree to the move.

“The cost is a huge jump and concern,” Hambley said.

“We understand there’s a lot more money involved,” Heck said, and suggested that the county would be able to sublease any space in the new building not used by the elections board.

Heck also pointed out that the $11.95 cost per square foot for the North Jefferson offices was more than the $10.70 per square foot cost of the Stonegate building.

Further discussion on the proposed move is scheduled during a 10:30 a.m. Thursday budget hearing between the elections board and commissioners at 144 N. Broadway St., Room 201.

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.