Licking County Government has begun planning for an alternate site for its Regional Emergency Communication Center at 119 East Main. This location was activated in 2014 as the County’s Center for emergency call taking, law enforcement, fire and EMS dispatching.
The building at 119 East Main Street was constructed in 1992 by the State of Ohio as a Community Based Corrections Facility (CBCF), and operated as such until around 2011. The State Department of Rehabilitation Corrections ceased using the CBCF in a budget reduction move. Licking County entered into a 16-year lease to use the facility, with the stipulation that it be used for law enforcement purposes. The building was leased free of charge with the County assuming upkeep and utility costs.
On July 6th (last week) the Licking County Prosecutor received notification from theOhio Facilities Construction Commission sharing their concerns over persistent settling of the rear of the building, and concerns over its long-term structural integrity. The State based their concerns on a report by an engineering and construction services consultant who has been and continues to perform monitoring on the structure. The study (which is included with this release) weighs the option of repairing and stabilizing the structure versus demolition and removal.
While Licking County has use of the building under a lease arrangement, the ultimate decision on either repairs or removal will be up to the State as the owner. The report states that if the cost of repairs proves impractical, that the State should consider abandoning and demolishing the facility as soon as ‘practical’.
In reaction to this report and the concerns expressed, the Licking County Commissioners working with the Licking County Prosecutor, the Licking County Sheriff, and 9-1-1 EMS/Homeland Security in developing a plan to move to an alternate and interim dispatching site in the downtown Newark area. The logistics are still being worked out, however,the move is expected in calendar year 2017. The main priority is the safety of the County’s employees and the safety of the citizens of Licking County.
The MARCS Tower at the East Main Street site is not affected by the situation. Most of the equipment installed at the East Main Street facility would be moved and reused at an alternate dispatching site. Further information will be released as the plans are finalized.
( DRAFT REPORT )