Suamico expanding to three polling locations in 2022
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – The Reforestation Camp Ski Lodge will become the village’s third polling location in 2022.
Suamico has used two polling locations, splitting the eight wards between the Municipal Services Center and the Idlewild Park Shelter, aside from when changes were made over the past two years to have all Election Day voters cast ballots at one polling location during COVID-19 pandemic.
However, with the village’s registered voter population at 8,718, Village Clerk Michelle Bartoletti said Suamico is able to split up the wards to accommodate a third polling location as part of the redistricting process following the 2020 census, with approximately 2,900 voters per location.
Because the village clerk is required to notify all voters of their polling locations after redistricting, Bartoletti said now is the most appropriate time to add a new location.
The board agreed and passed a motion last month to secure a third polling location at the Reforestation Camp Ski Lodge, a Brown County Parks facility located near the NEW Zoo, and move forward with all documentation, including a hold harmless and indemnification agreement.
Bartoletti said a third polling location requires the village to purchase two additional voting machines, the DS200 (ballot scanner) and Express Vote (Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant unit), at a cost of $10,000, which could be included in the village’s 2022 budget for elections.
To speed up check-in, voter registration, absentee ballot processing and the clerk’s process following an election to upload the participation date, the board also approved the purchase of 15 Badger Books, which are electronic poll books authorized for use in Wisconsin elections, for $30,870.
Funds for the Badger Books will come from this year’s budget for election equipment.
“(The Badger Books are) really going to offer a lot of time-saving,” Bartoletti said. “(They take) a little bit more (time) upfront to get prepared, but once you get them set up, it really is a big time-saver.”
In other action, the board gave final approval to an ordinance amendment to allow the village clerk, rather than require board action, to approve and issue operator licenses to serve alcohol, provided there is no objection from either the clerk or public safety staff.
If an applicant would be denied a license, Bartoletti said the amended ordinance will allow an appeals process to place the application on the board’s agenda for consideration.
She said state law allows municipalities to adopt an ordinance allowing a designated official to approve and issue operator licenses.
Board members approved a bid of $21,560 from Robinson Heating and Cooling to replace the boiler system at Fire Station No. 2, with funds from the building maintenance fund.
Fire Chief Joel Bertler said Fire Station No. 2, at 2323 Northwood Road, is approaching 30 years old, and there have been no major renovations to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system since air conditioning was added in the early 2000s.
Bertler said the boiler used to heat the building is reaching its life expectancy, which typically is between 20-30 years.
He said Robinson Heating and Cooling’s work also includes replacing the water heater.
With the project expected to leave the building without heat for several days, staff recommended completion before the heating season approaches.
Bertler said the new boiler should last the village another 25-30 years.