County communications center receives relocation grant – The Tryon Daily Bulletin

Funding approved to move the county’s 911 center to a former jail

COLUMBUS — The Polk County Council of Commissioners has approved the acceptance of a state grant to relocate its 911 communications center.

Commissioners met on Monday and heard from Director of Communications Jeremy Gregg. Gregg discussed the grant and the current conditions of the department.

He said the 911 center was for all emergency services in the county and some after-hours departments. Staff are a minimum of 2 and peak hours are 3, Gregg saying due to space issues the center cannot have more than that.

The current communications center is located in the basement of the old bank which currently houses the county tourism department upstairs.

Gregg said the building was renovated in 2008 and the department urgently needs more space to meet its critical needs and grow.

The current space has plumbing issues, said Gregg, and there’s only one entrance and one exit to the building. There are also no sprinklers in the building and no access for disabled people.

The county kept the old prison in order to relocate communications in this building. The grant to move communications to the old prison is estimated at $ 2.4 million. Commissioners also approved $ 1,939,730 in 911 funding, so no local taxpayer money will be used for the renovation.

Gregg said the county can work from its backup center during construction.

“This is a need that we have had for a long time,” said Polk County Manager Marche Pittman.

He said the county would never have imagined construction quotes of $ 700 per square foot, but that’s what the market is now. He said he hoped the market would correct itself.

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