The Board of Supervisors has approved a grant agreement to allow the Elections Department to fund part of its vital operations.

The $71,592.20 grant will be used to help pay for equipment, supplies, security upgrades, and training over the next two years, Elections Director Lisa Marra told the Board at its regular meeting on January 7.

Provided by the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, the money is distributed under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). These funds are specially dedicated by Congress for certain and specific election related expenses, including security, upgrade or enhancement of voting equipment, audits, cybersecurity training, voter education, election official training, improving physical access of polling locations, and improving technology.

The Secretary of State distributes the monies to Arizona’s 15 Counties, based upon the number of voters in each region. Cochise County received $143,184.40, which is equally split between the Elections Department and Recorder’s Office.

In other business, the Board also approved a request by the Development Services Department to amend the land use designation of five parcels located at the southeastern corner of Hereford Road and State Route 92. The County asked for the land use to be changed from Neighborhood Conservation to Developing, and for the zoning to be amended to General Business from Mobile Home.

Planner Christine McLachlan said the County believed, following a growth of commercial sites in the area in recent years, the five subject parcels would be better suited to business development to serve local residents and in keeping with market trends.

Additionally, the Board, acting as the Flood Control District Board, approved an annual joint funding agreement in the amount of $77,225 to conduct hydrologic investigations and data collection at various sites in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed of the Upper San Pedro Basin. Funds amounting to $34,500 are also provided by the U.S. Geological Survey to help support its staff, which conducts the monitoring. The County has helped to financially support the program for a number of years.