Supervisors hold off on building emergency operations space
GLOUCESTER, Jan 10, 2013 (Daily Press (Newport News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Board of Supervisors is holding off on going out to bid on a proposal to finish out the basement of the county's new Emergency Communications Center for workers during emergency operations.
The estimated cost of the project is $635,000, according to an estimate by Public Works Director Garrey Curry. The supervisors discussed the project with Curry at the Jan. 2 board meeting.
The Emergency Communications Center, adjacent to the Gloucester County Sheriff's Office, has an unfinished basement with ample room for office space for county staff and volunteers to assemble during emergency operations such as preparing for and working during hurricanes and other natural disasters.
The Emergency Communications Center was recently completed at a cost of about $2 million.
The space currently used for emergency operations is in the Gloucester Sheriff's Office and is pretty tight quarters, Curry said.
Sheriff's Office staff lose their work space when it is in operation and it also lacks room for suitable uses during extended storm events, he said.
County Administrator Brenda Garton said the county had anticipated using the space when it built the communications center but lacked the money to finish it out.
"We were just trying to get a future possibility without adding money to the project," she said.
Supervisor Carter Borden said that where they are meeting now is elbow to elbow.
"I know we're talking big money here," he said. "But if we don't do it now it might cost a whole lot more later."
But board members were uncomfortable going out to bid and committing to spending the money without knowing what this year's budget is going to look like. They also want to see what a committee will recommend on which capital improvement projects to undertake and the costs associated with those.
Supervisor Bob "JJ" Orth suggested waiting a couple of months. Supervisor Ashley Chriscoe was in agreement.
"I'd like to see everything else and the amount we have to spend before we go full-bore," Chriscoe said.
The supervisors expect to take up the matter again later this year.
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