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Funding Options for New Communications Building Discussed

Posted: Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 at 6:26 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

A construction management services provider has been selected for Washington County for proposed construction of a new communications center.

At Tuesday’s Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting the supervisors authorized the boards involved in the building project to make plans with Carl A. Nelson for the services with a contract to be presented to the board of supervisors. The services will help keep the process on track with the timeline and includes help selecting an architect. After their regular meeting, a work session was held regarding the construction and financing of a communications building. The options for funding include seeking grants to help cover the cost, a bond referendum vote, or finding funds through an emergency management agency levy. To go through an emergency management funding route then restructuring of how communications and other agencies work together would have to happen and concerns about staying on the timeline were raised.

Sheriff Jared Schneider shared his concerns, “We’re moving forward on the radio project, we’ve got our proposals due at the end of the month, and if we stick on that timeline that they set early on and we have been, we’re look at July of ’19 before any radio system would be even up and running, and that’s if we have a place to go with it. So I asked him, how do we, if the building project isn’t moving along as quickly, how do we make those work. And in talking to him there are conversations we could have and trying to figure out how we can make those maybe come in line. But I still have a lot of concern, I guess, on having that done by July of ’19, I don’t know if that is even realistic. I have a lot of concern whether our current radio system will be working still by July of ’19.”

It was stated that the building will be multipurpose with communications, emergency management and an emergency command center. If a bond referendum were to be put on the ballot, it would require 60% approval to be passed. No formal action was taken, but it was recommended that communications and emergency services have a joint special meeting to figure out the best option for the county as a whole and bring it to supervisors for consideration.