Walker County Commissioners will tackle a problem concerning November polling places in coming weeks that may not be easily solved, according to the county’s man on the case, Gerry Nemec.

Nemec, the county’s engineer, took on the task of compiling a list of polling locations that are compliant with the American Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act approved in 2002 and which took effect Jan. 1.

The problem in Walker County is that polls used in general elections for decades are not up to those regulations. Nemec addressed the issue in Monday’s commissioners court and likened the ADA process to a football game.

“Sometimes the crowd doesn’t like the call,” he said. “But we have a checklist we have to follow.”

“Less than 5 percent of people who vote utilize ADA requirements,” said Dee Brimmer, county voter registrar. “We’re looking at combining polling places because the more you combine, the fewer polls you have to have. For instance, those places where fewer than 100 people vote, they don’t even have a machine. It would make sense to do that.”

ADA requirements include provisions for parking, wheelchair ramps and other accessibility issues, and Nemec said he’s struggling to find solutions. Planning and development director Andrew Isbell said one solution may be to go directly to the state.

“We’re trying to have discourse with the state,” he told commissioners. “We’re hoping to find out if there is anything they would allow to keep some of these places on the list. Does the human element outweigh the requirements?”

Other items presented to the court Monday:

• Commissioners approved a wildfire protection plan that will provide an opportunity for the community to improve should there be a wildfire event, said Justice Jones, wildlife interface coordinator with the Texas Forest Service.

“It will be developed and driven by the community to identify risk, educate homeowners and handling treatment of hazardous fuels,” Jones said. “This plan will not only protect residents, but our natural resources.”

• Commissioners agreed to provide the Rita B. Huff Humane Society with up to an additional $500 per month to continue the Spay and Neuter Assistance Program for the county.

More county pet owners have taken advantage of the program run by the animal shelter. The county will also pay $3,780 to the humane society because of its efforts to absorb the extra cost in the past few months. Because Rita B. Huff has its own clinic, cost is kept around $45 per animal, whereas contracting the surgeries would cost upward of $300 in some cases.

The city of Huntsville has a similar agreement with the shelter for the SNAP program.