JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – A much-needed upgrade could be coming to the Jefferson County 911 center.
Jefferson County Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the filing of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) Local Share Account (LSA) application for funding in the amount of $440,378. That money would be for the engineering costs related to a new 911 center.
“They’ve been looking, so it’s been a conversation for a while,” Commissioner Herm Bullers said. “We do have drawings and it was just something for us to start to work out because it’s something that coming down sooner or later we’re going to have to do something.”
The new building as of now would be placed on the land with the Warsaw Township Volunteer Fire Company. The biggest challenge now is getting the appropriate funding for the job.
“To do this is just an effort to start a deliberate movement in that direction, and that’s the engineering grant that gives us that,” Commissioner Scott North said. “The meat and potatoes of what we need, how it needs to be laid out into a comprehensive review. It’s going to depend entirely upon how we can fund this.”
Commissioners are not expecting the project to start or be done anytime soon. It also has an expensive price tag.
“You look in 3 to 5 years for this project and you’re looking maybe upwards to $10 million,” Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik said.
Jefferson County is also still battling an EMS shortage and commissioners say that the upgraded equipment and new facility can help with day-to-day operations.
“We’ve outgrown what we have, our computer stuff is outdated. So with everything else you have to keep, that’s your main function,” Pisarcik said. “All the calls can be there but if you can’t get help to those people that need help for several reasons you can’t do anything.”
Economic Development Director Jess Funk says the engineering cost will let the county see lost cost estimates and it will show more information that officials might not know to move forward with the entire project. The county then can start putting everything together and do grant applications as they come down to obtain the funding.