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Jackson County to build new emergency ops hub

Jackson County plans to build a $1.6 million state-of-the-art 911 call center and emergency headquarters along U.S. 441 south of Dillsboro.

 

It would house all the county’s emergency personnel and act as a secure response base in case of a crisis or disaster. 

About a third of the price tag for 5,000 square-foot facility is for new equipment to outfit the building. The county has already pledged $500,000 in this year’s budget for the construction. The remainder will be paid for with 911 fees, a tax tacked on to all phone bills to fund emergency call services.

The new call center will allow for all county emergency personnel to be housed in the same facility. The 911 personnel are currently operating out of the second floor of the county’s justice center, space that County Manager Chuck Wooten said the courts would like to have.

“The goal is to address concerns of the court system for additional space and possibly a new courtroom,” Wooten said. 

A local architect will present a proposal to county commissioners at their next meeting. The design work could take eight months to complete and construction of the building another year or so. 

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