June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

Board of elections makes another pitch for larger space

Medina County Board of Elections members say they are confident their choice of a new home will win the approval of county commissioners.

The elections board has been eyeing 3800 Stonegate Drive in Medina Township since last year, but the commissioners rejected that proposal in December, saying it was too expensive.

The county’s election offices now are in a 6,790-square-foot building at 4210 N. Jefferson St., Medina Township, which board members say is too small. The building is leased from the county Health Department for $62,468 a year.

Last month, board members said they were considering 990 N. Court St. in Medina — a 12,600-square-foot building that formerly housed MC Sporting Goods, which would have cost $70,000 in rent a year.

While that location was less expensive than the Stonegate Drive space, elections officials said the building was older and would require more work and thousands of dollars to prepare it for use.

As an alternative, board members said Tuesday that the Stonegate Drive location was the best choice after the owner agreed to reduce the annual rent to $82,104 — $17,000 less than the original proposal.

The Stonegate Drive space, which had housed the Medina County District Library for more than two years while the downtown library was renovated, is just more than 10,200 square feet.

The rents do not include maintenance or infrastructure improvements.

Board member Bill Heck said the Stonegate Drive building is ready for use, which made it the better choice.

Teresa Cotman, another board member, agreed.

“I think this looks fantastic,” she told other board members at a Tuesday meeting.

Board members said they were confident commissioners would approve the revised Stonegate proposal because they had gained county Administrator Chris Jakab’s support.

“The cost has gone down, and they’ve done quite a bit of research and analysis,” Jakab said. “I think the commissioners will be appreciative of all the work they’ve done.”

Jakab said the relocation plans would be on the agenda for next week’s commissioners meeting. The commissioners usually meet on Mondays, but will meet Tuesday because Monday is Columbus Day.

Board members said they are hopeful, but wouldn’t celebrate until a deal is approved.

“We’ll relax Wednesday,” Cotman said.

“Yeah,” agreed board Director Carol Lawler, “when we have that ‘yes’ letter in our hands.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.