Boards discuss security cart costs

By Sam Wildow - Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — The Board of Miami County Commissioners met with the Miami County Board of Elections on Thursday to continue discussions on additional costs for the county’s new voting equipment.

Earlier this month, the Board of Elections submitted a request to the commissioners for a total of approximately $42,534 in additional funds to go toward security carts to house and help transport the new Clear Ballot voting systems, as well as other electronic and office equipment needed to go along with that equipment.

On Thursday, Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns and Deputy Director Ian Ridgeway included additional quotes for 25 security carts, noting they still expect the cost to be approximately $30,000. Each of the carts will house the scanners, ADA equipment, signage, tables, and other equipment needed for each polling location on election days.

Commissioner Jack Evans asked about the Board of Elections’ recent demonstration at the Miami County Fair with the new voting equipment. Bruns said they had about 90 people try out the new voting equipment and had a “very positive” response.

The commissioners expect to find the funds for the voting equipment by sometime next week.

Board of Elections Chairman Dave Fisher was also present during the meeting.

“We’re very pleased with what you picked out,” Commissioner Greg Simmons said.

Earlier during their meeting, the commissioners approved an amendment to the contract for inmate phone services at the Miami County Jail and Miami County Incarceration Facility. Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak discussed these changes with the commissioners in April. Duchak said that, with this change, all of the mail to inmates will be sent to Securus Technologies, their vendor for inmate telephone calls, who will screen and scan the mail. Inmates would then be able to view their mail on tablets provided by Securus Technologies. This amendment also adds video visitation services and extends the contract with Securus Technologies for 36 months.

This update comes with no extra cost to the county. Previously, the county received approximately 85 percent of the commission raised by the cost inmates and their loved ones spend on phone calls. This update will bring that commission down to 78 percent, but the county will also receive 20 percent of the commission spent on e-messaging and other services that Securus will offer through these tablets. Those commissions also go back into the county’s general fund and not the sheriff’s office budget.

Inmates would also get the opportunity to use their jail commissary funds to rent the tablets to use to listen to music or watch movies, all of which would be pre-approved by jail administrators. The county would also receive a commission on the funds raised by those purchases.

Also during their meeting, the commissioners awarded the Ross Road resurfacing project to Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. of Franklin in the amount of approximately $337,531.

The commissioners later accepted a grant award of $25,439 from the State Emergency Response Commission for the Miami County Emergency Management Agency.

The commissioners then authorized a Workforce Investment Act Subgrant with JobWorks, Inc., as a provider of Workforce Innovation Opportunities Act, as requested by Director Teresa Brubaker of Miami County Job and Family Services.

Following that, the commissioners authorized influenza inoculations for all Miami County employees and their spouses through the Miami County Public Health Department between Oct. 14 and Nov. 27. The cost is $16.50 for individuals under 65 years of age and $45.50 for individuals 65 years of age and older, who receive a higher dose.

The commissioners then created the Miami County Complete Count Committee in preparation for the 2020 Census. The committee will consist of representatives from local governments, as well as other agencies and officials, to promote participation in the Census.

The commissioners ended their meeting by going into executive session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.

Commissioner Ted Mercer was absent.

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at ©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach Sam Wildow at ©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.