June 27, 2016

Partly cloudy

Medina County Board of Elections keeping location options open

MEDINA — With two commissioners expressing concerns about a Stonegate Drive move, the Medina County Board of Elections plans to shop around in an effort to relocate.

At a meeting Thursday, Commissioners Steve Hambley and Adam Friedrick said the cost to rent the Stonegate facility and its size are of concern.

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)

Commissioners approve and pay for the relocation of county offices. Relocating the elections board office was pitched to commissioners Monday, and they have until Jan. 2 to grant or deny the move.

The elections board has suggested moving in June from 4210 N. Jefferson St., Medina Township, a block north at 3800 Stonegate Drive. The building is at the north end of the Pearl road shopping plaza that includes Hobby Lobby and Kohl’s.

The Stonegate Drive building is 13,795 square feet, while the North Jefferson space is 4,446 square feet, according to elections board member Bill Heck.

Commissioners suggested looking at buildings that have between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet.

The Stonegate location also has a higher price tag.

Heck said the elections board pays $76,411 a year to rent the Jefferson Street facility. That total includes costs for maintenance and insurance.

The Stonegate facility would cost $147,606.50 a year, he said, and the moving cost is estimated at $9,800.

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

In response to Hambley and Friedrick, Heck offered Thursday to look into “strip-mall” space at the southwest corner of state Route 18 and Windfall Road in Montville Township as a fallback option.

“We’re not completely, emotionally tied to the Stonegate facility,” Heck said. “But we need to make a move.”

Heck said more space is needed for the election office’s eight full-time staff, an unspecified number of part-time election workers and volunteers, and 702 voting machines.

Limited parking space at the board’s office also is a reason to move, Heck said.

The election board’s lease at 4210 N. Jefferson St. expires Aug. 31, 2013. A 90-day notice is needed to leave the premises early.

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