Work continues to help improve a polling site in North Bend Township.
During Monday’s Starke County Election Board meeting, an update was received on construction at the site. Starke County was awarded a Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, grant worth nearly $25-thousand to complete several projects.
Board member Dan Bridegroom says the contractors are looking to be paid as early as possible.
“Do a walkthrough and say ‘yes, this is given our blessing’ and sign-off on the project and then [Clerk Vicky Cooley] can send the voucher over for payment,” says Bridegroom.
Previous reports have indicated that the construction work will help upgrade handicap accessibility at the polling site.
The work was initially anticipated to take around six weeks to complete. The polling site construction is being conducted to the North Bend Township building.
Members of the Starke County Election Board, however, brought forward issues of accountability, such as the quality of the work as well as ensuring the grant qualifications are being met. Board member Peg Brettin says she’s heard several questions asked about the subject.
“There’s really nothing in that grant at all for us,” says Brettin. “Other than: just to get the money.”
Adding a door and renovating the parking lot at the Township building is also part of the project.
The Starke County Election Board says they don’t have much oversight other than finalizing payment to the contractor performing the work. No date was set for a final walkthrough of the work before payment.