Village moves polling place to Grace Church

Change due to problems at middle-school location goes into effect in February
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

Grafton village residents will cast their votes at Grace Lutheran Church rather than John Long Middle School beginning this year. 

The Village Board on Monday approved an ordinance changing the polling location.

The new voting site will take effect with the February primary. 

“Discussions have been occurring at the school-district level about traffic concerns and the safety of students and staff with the use of John Long Middle School as a polling place,” Village Administrator Jesse Thyes said during a November Finance Committee meeting.

“It has become a logistical nightmare for the district, and they approached the village about transitioning away from the middle school.”

The village considered nine locations based on available parking, accessibility for the elderly and disabled, size and proximity to the middle school.

In addition to Grace Lutheran Church, prospective polling places included the Rose-Harms American Legion Hall, Cornerstone Church, Grafton Multipurpose Senior Center, Municipal Services Facility, Timothy Wooden Building, Grafton public library, water and wastewater utility garage and Robert P. Zaun Pavilion in Lime Kiln Park.

Members of the public works, police and fire departments inspected the locations and agreed on Grace Lutheran Church, which is across the street from the middle school.

“That helped seal the deal because of the church’s proximity to the school,” Thyes said.

Thyes said the fee to rent the facility for each election is $250. There will be four elections in 2020, which will cost the village $1,000.

The village has only one polling location. Thyes said officials considered having two separate voting sites but decided to remain having one because of logistics.

Village Hall is used for absentee voting.

Village Clerk Kaity Olsen said the change will be communicated to residents in mailings with water bills. A postcard will also be sent to residents, and the school district will communicate the change in venues.

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