Clallam County to get almost $3M for construction of Emergency Operations Center

Funds, which require 25 percent match, included in 5-year plan

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County will receive for almost $3 million for the Emergency Operations Center construction thanks to a federal grant.

The three commissioners are scheduled to formally accept the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant at their regular meeting today, set for 10 a.m. in the commissioners meeting room at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles.

The $2,965,800 reimbursable grant, meaning the county must spend the money first, requires a 25 percent match from the county, Dale Jackson, Joint Public Safety Facility project manager, told the commissioners at their Monday work session.

“I don’t intend to spend it for quite some time,” Undersheriff Ron Cameron, the Emergency Operations Center manager, told the commissioners. “The grant expires in 2026. We’re in pretty good shape. We’ve penciled it out and continue finding additional funding.”

A staff memo to the commissioners stated, “This funding is awarded for the construction phase of the project and will not be expended until construction begins, estimated to be in 2025. It is already included in the current 2024-2028 5-Year Plan.”

In a December 2022 news release announcing the grant, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer said, “This investment is about protecting public safety. It’s about supporting law enforcement and emergency responders by ensuring they have a modern, resilient, and capable facility to meet the needs of the people of Clallam County.

“This facility will ensure local public safety authorities have the tools and resources they need to serve four tribal governments, three municipalities, a county, an international airport, a state prison, and a national park.”

A PowerPoint presentation included in a prior commissioners’ agenda packet shows detailed design, “Phase 2b,” lasting from August 2023 to October 2024. Then building construction, “Phase 3,” would last from November 2024 to February 2026.

After a long search, Port Angeles and Clallam County agreed in April to buy private property on the 2000 block of West Edgewood Drive behind Airport Garden Center for the facility.

The property has been vacant since the 1940s and meets the necessary criteria of being between 3 and 5 acres with access to Fairchild International Airport and high-speed internet.

The estimated $13 million facility would house the Clallam County Emergency Operations Center, which is activated during disasters such as a massive earthquake or other emergencies, as well as the Emergency Management division of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Peninsula Communications (PenCom, which handles 911 calls).

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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