With the 911 Communications Center moving into new space added onto its present Park Hills facility within the coming weeks, the St. Francois County 911 Board of Directors heard nothing but positive reports on the project's progress when it met in regular session Wednesday morning at Desloge City Hall.

The $2.5 million project includes, not only the construction of additional space for 911 communications, but also a second phase beginning next month where the original structure is going to be renovated into the headquarters for the county's emergency operations center.

"I'm very excited about where we're going from here and how efficient the system is going to be," said board Treasurer Ginger Taylor, CPA. "I got the opportunity to be over at the center when we had our budget/finance meeting a week or so ago and the facility is looking wonderful.

"I was amazed at how the technology is going to improve the job experience for our workers that are there — plus the impact on our community. I commend you Director [Alan] Wells for a very fine job."

Operations/Construction Co-Chairman Todd Mecey agreed that the project is progressing as anticipated.

"Things are going well," he said. "I know we're pretty much on schedule. I think we'll be starting the phase two remodeling process probably in the next month or so. I think the administration has actually moved into their offices. I think potentially next week they're moving the dispatchers over. It's going well. I'm very, very pleased. I think everybody else is too."

Board Chairman Ron Bockenkamp added his sentiments, as well.

"Yeah, it's amazing," he said. "I was over there yesterday and even the job they did on that parking lot. I mean the lot is poured, it's striped, they've got that good looking fence surrounding that parking lot."

Bockenkamp then asked Director Wells to provide the board an overview of the project's progress.

"I think the city inspector is due back onsite on Thursday to do some review with the contractor," Wells said. "He had given temporary occupancy for us to start moving into the administration offices, so hopefully after Thursday we'll get our full occupancy permit. Once we get that full occupancy permit, we plan to be operating 911 in there next week. Our plan is to be moving in the 16th and 17th."

Asked by one of the board members if the move would also include use of the new 911 system, Wells said, "No, we'll be extending the existing 911 into the new building,"

According to Wells, while his office is no longer in the bus parked outside the center, he's still in the process of moving the last few items into his new office.

"We're very excited," Wells continued. "All the administrative offices are now furnished and occupied."

The director also noted that the building construction committee had met last week with the construction team.

"They did approve a seventh payout to Brockmiller Construction of $204,766.20 to be recommended to the board for approval," he said.

The board of directors unanimously approved the payout as requested.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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