NEWTON TWP. - For the first time in 10 years, Newton Township residents will cast votes at the Municipal Building when the primary election rolls around May 21.
The Lackawanna County Bureau of Elections has agreed to move the polling station from the Recreation Center back to the Municipal Building, Board of Supervisors Chairman Ronald Koldjeski said at the monthly meeting March 11.
“We were told verbally and they’ll be sending us a letter, so it’s going to happen,” he said.
The supervisors requested the move mainly due to safety issues, Koldjeski said.
The recreation center is home to a daycare and a preschool, and the building is always very secure, the supervisor said. But on Election Day that changes, when the doors are open to anyone.
“We have a lot of young children there,” Koldjeski said. So to be on the safe side, the supervisors decided to move the polling station back to its original location.
Koldjeski noted the Municipal Building is wheelchair accessible, has plenty of room for voting machines and privacy, and has multiple exits. “It’s really nice. I’m happy that it’s coming back here,” he said.
The township had moved the polling station 10 years ago to the recreation center because the center was looking for occupants, but now it is well occupied and the change can be made, Koldjeski said.
In other news, the township has applied for a $10,000 grant to fix the floors and backboards at the recreation center. Once the work is done, the supervisors hope to rent out the court to basketball leagues.
“Hopefully we can get some revenue from that,” Koldjeski said.
The grant is administered through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The supervisors also named Carol Mielnikowski the supervisor of the recreation center at $11 per hour. She was one of seven candidates interviewed for the position. The center had no previous supervisor.
Also, the recreation center is looking for volunteers. “We’re always looking for volunteers to create ideas and put on programs,” said Supervisor Douglas Pallman. “I think we have a great venue there.”