City Council to mull hiring consultant for emergency operations center

Firm would design facility near William R. Fairchild International Airport

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council today will consider hiring a consultant to design a joint emergency operations center and 9-1-1 dispatch center near William R. Fairchild International Airport.

City staff has recommended a professional services agreement with Seattle-based OAC Services for pre-engineering at the proposed facility in west Port Angeles.

If approved, the city and Clallam County would split the $95,000 cost.

The proposal is to build a new Clallam County EOC and Peninsula Communications (PenCom) dispatch center in the Port of Port Angeles-owned “10.10 Building.”

The 90,000-square-foot metal structure at 2140 W. 18th St. was built for a helicopter manufacturer in the 1980s and was formerly occupied by yacht builder Westport LLC.

“Staff believes there will be considerable cost savings on reusing and significantly improving the 10.10 building site as compared to other alternatives,” according to a memo from Port Angeles City Manager Nathan West, Police Chief Brian Smith and Fire Chief Ken Dubuc.

The City Council will consider the professional services agreement with OAC Services when it gathers at 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.

City officials say PenCom has outgrown its existing space at the Port Angeles Police Department headquarters.

PenCom is the regional 9-1-1 dispatch center serving 15 law enforcement, hospital and fire protection agencies in Clallam County.

“The facility is undersized, does not meet current seismic or security standards and is in a location highly vulnerable to an earthquake hazard,” the city memo states.

“Clallam County has long known that the current location of their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the basement of the county courthouse is much less than desirable, if not completely unacceptable.”

The city also has a small EOC in the Port Angeles Fire Station at 102 E. Fifth St.

Last February, the council directed staff to work with Clallam County on a potential home for a joint EOC and dispatch center.

The 10.10 Building scored higher than six other properties that were analyzed for survivability, leverage, cost-effectiveness, lifespan, capital outlay, ongoing expenses, location and site security.

The building would provide about 15,000 square feet for a joint EOC/dispatch center. It would have 10 dispatch console stations.

OAC Services was chosen among two finalists for the architectural and pre-engineering work.

Last September, the city, county and port agreed on the terms of a potential 50-year lease of the 10.10 Building at a rate of 50 cents per square foot.

“The EOC would be able to handle multiple incidents and accommodate a range of high-risk events including law enforcement incidents, wildland fires, severe weather events and earthquakes,” the city memo reads.

“Also proposed is a two-apparatus fire station with crew quarters that will share kitchen and other facilities with the 9-1-1 center and EOC operations.”

William R. Fairchild Memorial Airport in west Port Angeles is expected to serve as an emergency supply hub after the next major earthquake.

“Staff believes that a modern facility constructed to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards adjacent to the William Fairchild Airport will remain operational after a significant earthquake,” city officials said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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