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Douglas County Board of Commissioners prepares for election, mobile command center

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 2:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - We are less than 100 days away from the November election. Now, Douglas County Election Commission leaders are preparing for what voting will look like during a pandemic.

Election Commissioner Brian Kruse asked the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for about $472,000 to help cover additional COVID-19 expenses like mailing early voting requests and masks for voters.

“I’m projecting that we will issue 205,000 by-mail ballots so that’s why we need some new equipment to help us manage that,” said Kruse.

The board unanimously voted to approve the funds. The funds will also go towards four new drop box locations throughout the county.

$4.3 million approved to help jail fight COVID-19

Just a day after 36 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus the Douglas County Board Of Commissioners approved 4.3 million dollars to help the jail fight the virus.

That money will go towards PPE, new technology, and on-site COVID-19 testing.

“In the event that we have to be more self-reliant because of an outbreak or because of community resources being taxed, to develop capabilities to care for inmates in ways on-site, that we would currently have to send people out for, said Mike Myers, director of corrections.

The director of corrections says sanitizing robots will also be purchased with the money to cut down on hours it takes employees to clean.

CARES Act money to go towards new mobile command center

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will soon have a new mobile command center.

the Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 2 to spend 1.8 million dollars of CARES Act funding on the new mobile center.

Some board members questioned if the expense is necessary and if CARES Act funds could be spent better elsewhere.

But leaders with the sheriff’s office say they will team up with the department of health when a COVID-19 vaccination becomes available.

“The mobile command center will enhance our overall collective efforts at combating the coronavirus and any other natural or man-made disaster, said Capt. Wayne Hudson, with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

The mobile command center would also be equipped with technology and act as a command office while out on location.

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