By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

The Hancock County commissioners gave verbal approval to purchase new voting machines Tuesday.

The county elections board selected Dominion Voting Systems as the machine vendor at a cost of $1.41 million. A state grant of about $836,000 and an equipment trade-in allowance of about $383,261 would bring the county’s cost for the new equipment down to about $200,037.

Board member Elizabeth Candler said it would cost about $213,000 to repair the existing equipment.

With the commissioners action Tuesday, the elections board will submit the contract to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office for its approval. A resolution to pay Dominion would then have to be passed by the commissioners.

Last week, the commissioners delayed a decision on the voting machines over concerns that the electronic sign-in pads at polling locations had not coordinated with the Dominion machines.

The board of elections may purchase new “poll pad” equipment which allows voters to sign-in electronically on a screen. Estimated cost is about $95,000. It’s unclear if the sign-in pads need to be replaced.

Separately, a resolution to contract with ALL Excavation and Demolition, McComb, to crush concrete removed during the Blanchard River “benching” work was approved by the commissioners.

The county will pay about $28,000 to have 3,000 to 4,000 tons of concrete crushed into aggregate, which will be used as a road base at the county landfill.

The commissioners also approved payment of about $930,045 by Maumee Watershed Conservancy District to Helms and Sons Excavating, Findlay, for the benching work. The project is about 50 percent complete, said Steve Wilson, project manager for the county.

The commissioners also heard from Randy Galbraith, director of the county Jobs and Family Services office, who projects the agency will need about $703,000 by Dec. 31 to cover children protective services expenses for housing individuals outside the county.

The department has $525,000 budgeted for the expense, but more money is needed because of an expected increase in children requiring placement, from 65 in January to 82 projected in December. Galbraith said it was a “conservative projection” of additional funding.

The average cost for housing is about $200 daily, with a range of $100 to $400 daily depending on the child’s needs, he said.

The commissioners took no action on the request.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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