Voter ID Scanners
The board approved the purchase of 98 identification scanners to prepare for the implementation of voter ID laws that were passed during the last legislative session. The law will be put into effect over the next three years and although the scanners are not a mandatory part of the voter ID system, Story County auditor Lucy Martin said the equipment will help election workers speed up the process of verifying identification before voting. The cost of the scanners will be between $16,000 and $20,000. Martin said she plans on using the scanners in the 2018 elections to help election workers gain some experience with the equipment before voter ID laws are fully implemented in 2019 and 2020.
The board awarded the city of Zearing with a facade improvement grant for $6,868 to help revamp a building on the city’s Main Street. The building, located at 108 East Main St. is over 100 years old and has fallen into disrepair. The grant will help pay for a project to secure the front facade, repair windows that are currently boarded up and improve the overall appearance of the building. The conversation about the project started a few months ago, but at the time it didn’t fit in the parameters of the county’s facade grant program because the building was city owned. The county has since amended that restriction to allow for this project, as well as similar projects.
The board began its meeting by considering opening up some county office space, which is currently unused, for the use of two different nonprofits in the county. The nonprofits include United Way and Raising Readers of Story County. The board did not make any official decisions, but the Supervisors did direct county staff to gather information about what maintenance and electric costs would be if the offices were used by the nonprofits. County staff will return at a future board meeting to provide the board with the information. At that time, the board will decide what the rent should be, which will be only the amount necessary to cover the cost of operating the office, and how long the lease agreement will be put in place for. It’s likely that it will be set for a one-year period with a year notice if the county would like to reclaim the offices.