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Niagara voting districts may shrink

The number of election districts in the town may be reduced because of the amount the Niagara County Board of Elections charges to run elections.

Supervisor Steven C. Richards told the Town Board at a work session Thursday that the town is paying more than twice as much to run elections since the county took over. The town had to pay $19,626 last year, he said. Previously, when the town ran elections, the cost was $8,300.

Richards said he believed that the charges were based on the number of districts that required 28 election workers. The town, with a population of 8,200, has seven election districts.

Voting takes place at one location, the Town Fire Hall, which offers seven voting machines.

"Personally, I don't feel the town needs seven districts," Richards said. However, he said, he wasn't sure how many the town should have. Most towns in the county have one or two districts, although Lewiston has five, he said.

In addition, all municipalities have to pay the county a total of $330,000 in miscellaneous charges. He said he had no idea what those charges were for.

He appointed a committee consisting of Deputy Supervisor Marc Carpenter, and Councilmen Robert A. Clark and Danny W. Sklarski to look into the alternatives and report back. The committee will examine how to cut the costs.

In another matter, Police Chief H. James Suitor told the board that about $1,500 was donated by his department to purchase a fourth Taser unit for the patrol cars.

Suitor explained that the staff collects $5 each every pay day for a fund that is used for various purposes within the department. The donation came from those contributions, he said.