Black Brook councilors expect to see election costs double for their town this fall.

Black Brook Town Supervisor Randy Nolan said $7,300 was budgeted for the upcoming elections in the town's three districts.

After purchasing the new voting machines, however, it was discovered that election costs will total $14,825.

"(We were) very shocked," he said.

Towns need to have new voting machines that utilize paper ballots, which are then fed into a computer. The ballots are dropped into a lock box, which cannot be opened until the end of Election Night.

"It's a little like going backward," Nolan said of using paper ballots again, "but on computers."

People must properly mark their vote within the lines; otherwise, the computer will not be able to read the vote. If this happens, the voter will know and have three tries to submit the ballot.

Each ballot costs 69 cents, however, which Nolan said is expensive itself.

The Town of Black Brook has three voting sites: the Town Hall, St. Matthew's Church and the Clayburg garage.

The new voting machines must be kept in a climate-controlled environment, Nolan said, as they are very sensitive to temperature. Storage is available on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

The costs for the new machines and their transportation are the main factors in the increased expense of elections, Nolan said.

"Had we known, we could have probably put that money aside. Right now, it looks like the Clinton County Legislature is going to help us somewhat."

Just how much they will receive to offset the costs remains to be seen, Nolan said.

Election officials had been trained until Aug. 19 on the proper use of the new voting machines, and Nolan said the town should be ready for the upcoming election season.

FERN LAKE DAM

Also discussed at the town meeting, which clocked in at only 18 minutes, was the Fern Lake Dam, which was inspected by Albany recently.

"It was in very good condition, actually," Nolan said.

The only suggestions involved better maintenance of vegetation on the downstream side.

By August 2011, an emergency plan for the dam must be produced by the town, but Nolan said the inspection proved to be very positive.

CONTRACT

The Town Council approved air conditioning for the Town Hall.

The contract will go to Wilkins Property Management for $4,935.

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