By Debi Holcomb, Fannin Sentinel Staff Writer
EMA Director Robert Graham presented photographs taken from the air of the new Public Safety Complex. “We intentionally did not take any pictures of the inside because we want everyone to come out to the Open House on August 30 to see the facility for themselves,” said Graham.
There will be a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. and refreshments will be offered to visitors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Breakdown of total cost includes: land acquisition for $487,668.22; architect fees of $204,312; site excavation and preparation $260,660.30; original contract for the building $2,980,953.29; buildout of the rear area $200,869.02 for a total cost of $4,134,462.83.
Commission Chairman Stan Helton stated, “It was paid without borrowing any funds, no interest costs. We didn’t have to go and do any bond indebtedness or anything else. It was all paid for.”
Helton continued, “During this time when we did a reevaluation and redesign to try to keep the effectiveness of the fire station and some of the things that were not really needed, you just did something really unique. You got input from all, everybody that works under your command. From department heads right on down to firefighters, EMS technicians, everyone gave you some very valuable input as I recall from the various meetings we had.
Input on color schemes, all kind of things that worked. And their suggestions were extremely valuable to making this work and I think the fact that you did that is going to make them all feel an extra touch of pride in that.”
Construction of the main building was included in the original contract. The back rooms were projected to cost over $400,000 but commissioners decided to sub-contract out the work rather than going with a single general contractor.
This decision saved the county taxpayers over $230,000.
Post Commissioner Earl Johnson said, “That was one of my main goals when we started it. Giving the taxpayers something they can touch, and they don’t owe a dime on it.”
Post Commissioner Glenn Patterson said, “I appreciate your leadership Robert.
I don’t think we are too united at times, maybe fragmented, under your leadership a lot of the pieces of the puzzle came together.”
Helton said, “When you look at the 911 Center compared to the old one, it’s much more spacious. Two and half times the space you had over there. So you have people who have a much better environment to work in. They got better equipment.
The whole layout over there just gives them a little extra edge which, when they are dealing with something as critical as 911 calls, I think every advantage, everything we can do to give them a good work environment, a good safe environment, I just believe the performance over there is going to be at tops compared to what they have been in all these years.”