911 to move to the security center
By CANDY NEAL
If costs allow, the county 911 department will return to the county security center.
Dubois County Commissioners agreed on Monday to use a pod in the current security center to house the 911 service. Before fully committing to the change, they want to know the real cost to do so, which would come to them under the form of a modification order on the prison construction project. But they were in favor of the move.
“I think it makes sense to have 911 up there,” Commissioner Nick Hostetter said. “We have a renovation and construction project underway. It makes sense to do so now.
Commissioner Elmer Brames said he also agreed, especially since the 911 department is in support. He mentioned that a previous concern was that having the department at the security center could be a security issue in the event of an attack or incident. But he sees the department being more protected and secure if it is located in the security center.
“I think the security perks of being on this campus are an enhancement of this whole process,” Brames said, “rather than a hindrance.”
The 911 system began in Dubois County in 1991. Service was previously located in a small area of the security center near its lobby. Because the department needed more space, 911 moved to the St. Charles Street annex, which also houses the county health department, after the county acquired the building in 2002.
Chairman of Commissioners Chad Blessinger introduced the idea on Monday and listed the reasons why the move would be beneficial. He sits on the 911 Advisory Board and was the primary liaison for the construction project to expand and improve community safety and correctional facilities.
“It would be an advantage for law enforcement and 911 on the same campus,” he explained. Currently, to get the necessary documents and records from each other, you have to go to the other building.
“Plus, it opens up the space the health department needs,” Blessinger said.
The Department of Health has said repeatedly over the years that it needs the extra space. This has become even more evident recently with the increase in the number of vaccines administered by the ministry.
Work is currently underway to expand and make improvements to the security center, including adding an additional prison cell that will house inmates. The 911 department would move to a current prison cell once that cell was released and refurbished. The county emergency management agency is also moving into the building, to another vacated and remodeled pod.
Blessinger has confirmed that income from the income tax from corrections and rehabilitation, implemented in 2019, can be used for the 911 project.
The commissioners also:
• Approved the continuation of a grant from the State Water Infrastructure Fund for sewer work in Haysville as part of the regional sewer district plans. Mary Austin of Clark Dietz said the proposal for the district is about 95% complete and will be made public after the various stakeholders involved review it.
• Adoption of the regional master plan for bicycles and pedestrians.
• Heard an update on the planning work underway to create a COVID-19 memorial.
• Hired C&R Construction to pave sections of 630S and 400W County Roads for $ 190,179.
• Support for the addition of another paid position in the county coroner’s office. The Dubois departmental council, which meets next week, must approve funding for the post.
• Declared three desktop computers as surplus.
• Approval of the closure of the South and St. Joseph Street sections in St. Anthony from 10 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday August 21 for the annual St. Anthony Motor Show.
• Approval of a limited use request from the St. Patrick Celebration Group to use the 700W and 500N County Road sections from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm on Saturday September 18 for its annual Irish Road Bowling.