Statesboro City Council approved Tuesday a plan to make election days more convenient for area voters.
In a scheduled meeting at City Hall, councilmen unanimously agreed to relocate a polling location used solely for city elections to a site that already hosts county, state and federal races.
Repre-sentatives agreed to no longer hold Statesboro city elections at Max Lockwood Drive’s Honey Bowen Building, opting instead to move one of two city polling locations to Pittman Park United Methodist Church on Fair Road — one of four Bulloch County precinct voting locations.
Consolidating the polling locations will allow voters in Statesboro voting Districts 3, 4 and 5 to vote in just one place on the day of an election, and ease the burden of conducting an election placed on the Bulloch County Board of Elections, said City Manager Frank Parker.
“The change will allow for (elections) staff to be working only at one location instead of split in two,” he said. “And, it will allow city voters in those districts to only go to one location for all elections — county, city, federal and state.”
The change, Parker said, comes on the heels of a request by the Bulloch County Board of Elections, who carries out elections for both Bulloch County and the City of Statesboro.
During a most recent November election, citizens living in voting districts three, four and five, were required to make stops at both the Honey Bowen Building and Pittman Park United Methodist Church if they wanted to cast a ballot in every contested race.
Following Tuesday’s vote, city staff will prepare documents to be part of a pre-clearance package sent to the United States Department of Justice for approval of the new polling location.
According to Mandi Cody, Director of Community Development, written approval of the move has been given by officials representing Pittman Park.
The polling location for voters in Districts 1 and 2 — the William James Complex on Williams Road — would remain unchanged.
In other business Tuesday, Council agreed to surplus a Proctor Street building (108 Proctor St.) that was formerly home to the Statesboro Food Bank — the bank is currently located at the old Sally Zetterower Elementary School.
With no planned uses for the building, city officials voted to sell or rent the location to any prospective buyers.
Also, at the request of Congressional Representative John Barrow, councilmen agreed to reserve an unused, third floor office in City Hall to serve as a temporary office for any and all visiting federal or state officials, and their staff.
According to Parker, individuals working in Barrow’s office have indicated an interest in using a Statesboro office as many as two days per week.
During the early morning meeting, public officials also recognized the work of the city’s Finance Department, who for an eighth consecutive year, received the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.
The City of Statesboro is one of 39 Georgia Cities, Counties, Boards of Education and Authorities to receive the honor for quality preparation of an annual budget, said Statesboro Finance Director Cindy West.
Statesboro City Council will host its next scheduled meeting Tuesday, April 17 at 6 p.m.
Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.