Grace Church chosen as new polling place

Village makes venue change starting in 2020 due to security concerns with school location
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

Grafton village residents will now cast their election ballots at Grace Lutheran Church rather than John Long Middle School. 

The Village Finance Committee on Monday approved an ordinance changing the polling location. The change will take effect with the February primary. 

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

“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 were the Rose-Harms American Legion Hall, Cornerstone Church, Grafton Multipurpose Senior Center, Municipal Services Facility, Timothy Wooden building, public library, water and wastewater utility garage and Robert P. Zaun Pavilion in Lime Kiln Park.

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

“That helped seal the deal,” Thyes said.

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

Thyes said more than 8,000 residents will be impacted by the change in venue because the village only has one dedicated polling location. Grafton Village Hall is used for absentee voting.

Village Clerk Kaity Olsen said the change will be communicated to residents through mailings in the property tax and water bills. A card will also be sent to residents, and the school district will help announce the change.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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