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County commissioners authorizes staff to move forward in 911 Center project

February 08, 2006|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County's plans to renovate a building on Elliott Parkway near Williamsport to accommodate its 911 Center will cost $782,121, representatives from an architectural and engineering firm told the County Commissioners.

Robin J. Kohn and Regis W. Kubit of Betzwood Associates P.C. in Phoenixville, Pa., presented a feasibility study on the project to the commissioners at a meeting Tuesday.

The county's 911 Center is at 33 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to accept the study and authorized county staff members to move forward with developing construction documents for the project.

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Last year, former Emergency Services Director Joe Kroboth said the center's current site was inadequate to handle a major disaster, can't accommodate necessary technology upgrades and lacks the space to provide classrooms for training emergency responders.

Kroboth is now deputy director of the Division of Public Works.

Kohn said the Elliott Parkway facility, which houses the Department of Water Quality, meets the needs of the 911 Center.

The county's emergency services administrative offices also will be moved to Elliott Parkway.

"I don't believe this will be wasted money ..." Kohn said.

The Elliott Parkway building is proposed to be the site of the 911 Center for about 10 years. After that, the county has tentative plans to build a larger emergency services complex for $5.8 million.

The complex would house a consolidated police, fire and rescue communications center, an emergency operations center, the Special Operations Team, Emergency Air Unit and Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association offices, according to the county's proposed Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2007 to 2012.

Construction for the complex is tentatively set to begin in fiscal year 2011.

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