Jackson to build new EMS center

Jackson County plans to buy land along U.S. 441 heading toward Franklin for a future emergency management center to house 911 operations and dispatch.

The 7-acre tract is owned by Duke Energy. If the deal closes, it will cost $350,000. Duke had the property on the market for $369,000. Its tax value was assessed at $1 million, County Manager Chuck Wooten said during a meeting of Jackson’s commissioners this week.

The site previously served Duke as the company’s Sylva operations center.

Jackson County has more than $1.1 million in 911 dollars. The money comes from a statewide monthly fee of 60 cents on each landline and wireless phone. The revenue is earmarked for emergency management services.

The deal includes certain improvements made by Duke on the property, such as a metal storage building, a fence enclosing the site and a trailer.

“We felt like this would make an ideal location, a good place” for an emergency management center, Wooten said, because of easy and safe highway access.

The county’s emergency management center is currently located in the county administration building with the sheriff’s office.

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