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Burnet County to bring back election functions to square

Burnet County officials approved the $88,500 purchase of a building just off the square to house elections administration functions. Courtesy photo

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

BURNET — Renovations are underway on a building, slated for election functions, bringing the process closer to the Burnet County Courthouse just off the square.

Burnet County Commissioners approved the purchase of the building, 106 W. Washington St., on Jan. 26 for approximately $88,500.

The area just off the square is between the Herman Brown Free Library and U.S. 281.

Elections administration is currently handled in a facility behind the courthouse north annex on Texas 29 East.

“The elections administrator will be closer to the square and in a much more accessible location than where they had been behind the north annex on Highway 29,” Burnet County Judge James Oakley said. “In the past … going back to the early 2000s, the elections were indeed held on the square because the function was handled by the county clerk.”

The building is about 2,100 square feet with two sections.

“It’s an older building that is contiguous with other buildings on the square. Half of it is storage and half is office space up front,” he said. “The county got a good deal on this building.

“It came out to be less than $50 per square foot,” he added. “We’ll be able to do some minimal cosmetic changes to it and modernize it.”

The Burnet County Clerk’s Office will utilize the space adjacent to the annex once vacated by elections staff.

With the move, more changes are expected for voters.

“We’re looking forward to, not in this election cycle, but in the next gubernatorial cycle, we’re going to be able to have vote centers,” Oakley said. “You don’t have to go to your designated precinct but, instead, go to the nearest voting center. That will add some flexibility.”

connie@thepicayune.com