The elections office used other space on the first floor previously occupied by the Ohio State University Extension staff, which moved last year to the Hobart Center.
The elections board over the years has discussed the need for more space and for a more accessible and secure location. The commissioners said options could include the Hobart Center or a new One Stop Shop the county plans to build off Ohio 55 in Troy the next couple of years.
Commissioner Ted Mercer said he would like to see the historic building’s first floor used for business instead of the current use of part of the space to store election equipment. Mercer suggested the county hire someone to look at available space and the cost of preparing it for the elections’ office use.
The commissioners asked for the relocation of stored election equipment to the election office’s current space in the next few months. The commissioners would like to move the county Human Resource’s Department from the Safety Building’s basement to that space, Commission President Greg Simmons
Elections Director Laura Bruns said she likes the office current location in the Courthouse in part because of its proximity to the county Safety Building, where election staff routinely does business. A home in the Hobart Center, though, “could work very nicely” and still be close to the Safety Building, she said.
Elections Board Chairman Dave Fisher said another advantage of the Hobart Center is its generator in case of power outages. It also has space in the basement for storage of election equipment.
The Hobart Center would allow the elections office to meet many of the Secretary of State’s requirements including those for accessibility, said elections board member Jim Oda. “That is something we simply could not do here (Courthouse),” he said.
The move’s timing would depend on which space the elections board chooses because of current uses of the Hobart Center space. The first-floor space being considered now is home to the county Planning and Development Office. The commissioners hope to move that operation to the new One Stop Shop. Space on the second floor would be available sooner.
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