Radford polling place change subject of upcoming public hearing

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Heather Bell

RADFORD – Accessibility issues, parking and traffic accidents are among the reasons the Radford Electoral Board has asked Radford City Council to change the Radford Central Precinct, currently at the Radford Fire and Rescue Department, to First Baptist Church on Rock Road in Radford.

The electoral board voted three to zero to request the polling place change.

In a letter to members of city council, the electoral board says the reasons to request the change are numerous.

The parking situation at the fire station has gotten more and more crowded over the years and there have been three reported automobile accidents involving voters,”it reads. “With the fire department’s responsibilities increasing over the last several years, the number of apparatus parked in the lot has grown, further decreasing parking for voters.”

Accessibility for voters with disabilities is also a concern.

The firehouse was inspected in November 2018 by the Disability Law Center of Virginia and has been flagged by them for partial inaccessibility,” reads the letter from the electoral board, “specifically addressing the single back door, and the way the entrance corridor is not compliant and the entrance is too tight as situated.

The trustees of First Baptist Church had already approached the electoral board with their interest in hosting the polling place and have tentatively agreed to a facility use agreement.

The electoral board and registrar inspected the potential polling place and have determined that it is ideally situated, with double lane ingress and egress, ample parking and is ADA accessible throughout,” reads the electoral board letter. “The multi-purpose room has multiple entrances into a 37-foot by 65-foot space,with good lighting, electric available and secure storage for equipment.

The July 8public hearing will be held during the regularly scheduled city council meeting.