Guard armory could replace Fairgrounds as voting site

June 15, 2010 10:47:00 AM

Kristin Mamrack -


The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors Monday voted to change a polling place location, pending approval from the U.S. Department of Justice. 


Lowndes County Circuit Clerk Mahala Salazar asked the supervisors to move a polling place location a short distance from the Columbus Fairgrounds on Highway 69 to the National Guard armory located at 111 Fabritek Drive, just off 69. 


"It would be just perfect," she said of the armory, at which a room recently was renovated. "It would be a much better environment." 


The new location features "nice restrooms" and a handicap-accessible entrance, she adding, noting the city also uses the location as a polling place. 


Currently, the county pays $300 per election to use the Fairgrounds as a polling place, but use of the armory will be free of charge. 


Salazar also asked District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith to investigate other possibilities for a Crawford polling place, explaining she''s received a "lot of complaints" on the cafeteria, formerly occupied by a Crawford elementary school, currently used for Crawford residents to vote. The building is the Crawford community center on Martin Luther King Drive. After it closed as an school, Columbus-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority purchased the building and turned it into a community center. 


"It was just a really, really bad situation," she reported of the cafeteria. 


"Well, I can understand why," Smith responded to reports of complaints, noting the facility has problems with mold, mildew and leaks. "That facility has to be addressed. It''s not healthy. That facility has got to go." 


Smith agreed to look for alternate locations. 


In other matters, the supervisors:



And they passed a resolution honoring the life of Capt. John "B.B." Thomas, who died on Memorial Day at the age of 75. Thomas served as a law enforcement officer, with the Columbus Police Department, then the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office, for more than 40 years.