7 polling places become handicap compliant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thanks to a more than $4,000 grant, seven of the county’s 25 polling places are being made handicap accessible to comply with the “Help America Vote Act.”
Probate Judge Ben Bowden made the announcement during Monday’s commission meeting. Bowden said county officials visited each of the county’s polling places to survey what renovations needed to be made.
Those to be renovated are the Beulah voting house, the Wing Volunteer Fire Department,
Libertyville City Hall, Red Level VFD, Heath City Hall, Pleasant Home Masonic Lodge and the Marvin Odom’s voting house.
“These are federal dollars to be used to improve voting houses here, so that individuals with disabilities can access these polling places easier,” Bowden said.
He said municipalities own the majority of the voting houses within the county and allows the county to use the facilities during the election.
“The improvements are different for each place,” he said. “They include handicap ramps, concrete parking pads, handrails, doorway expansions, parking lot bumpers and bathroom modifications.
“A disability should not prevent a citizen from casting a vote in person on Election Day,” he said. “We are doing our best to make sure that our voting precincts are accessible to all the citizens of Covington County. The grant will go a long way to making this important goal a reality.”
The county received exactly $4,454.79 to make the improvements, and work is expected to begin immediately, he said.
In other business, the commission:
•  proclaimed  Gordie Cartwright as the county’s “Cornbread King” as a result of his recent win at the National Cornbread Cook-off.
• heard a presentation by the county school’s four Peer Helpers groups.
• revised the surplus vehicle list for the Covington County Sheriff’s Office.
• granted a request from the county engineer’s office to hire a new engineering assistant.