PORT ANGELES — Clallam County and the city of Port Angeles are expected to hire a consultant to prepare a conceptual design for a joint emergency operations and 9-1-1 dispatch center on the city’s west side.
County and city officials have agreed to split the $95,400 cost of a pre-engineering contract with OAC Services to conduct a site evaluation and preliminary design for the joint facility in a 15,000-square-foot space within the Port of Port Angeles’ 10.10 Building near William R. Fairchild International Airport.
County Commissioners Bill Peach and Randy Johnson vetted the proposal with no objections Monday. Commissioner Mark Ozias was absent.
The county board is expected to approve the professional services agreement next Tuesday.
“This is a high priority, certainly, in my mind,” Johnson said in a Monday work session.
The Port Angeles City Council unanimously approved the agreement with Seattle-based OAC Services Feb. 18.
At that meeting, City Manager Nathan West said the conceptual design was a “key first step in doing the due diligence on the 10.10 Building.”
“In recognition of the importance of 9-1-1 services, in recognition of the importance of the Emergency Operations Center, it couldn’t be more important to get this right,” West told the council.
The current proposal is to build a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Peninsula Communications (PenCom) dispatch center and possibly a west side fire station in a portion of the building leased from the port.
PenCom is the regional 9-1-1 dispatch center serving 15 law enforcement, hospital and fire protection agencies in Clallam County.
County EOC Project Manager Dale Jackson said the professional services agreement would provide a “thorough evaluation of the building to make sure that it’s suitable and that there are no hidden flaws.”
“Secondly, we’ll get a preliminary design — how we would lay out the space — and then we’ll have a full understanding of what the cost of the complete project will be,” Jackson told commissioners.
The 10.10 Building at 2140 W. 18th St. was built for a helicopter manufacturer in the 1980s and was formerly occupied by yacht builder Westport LLC.
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.
Clallam County officials have long said the current EOC in the basement of the county courthouse would not survive the magnitude-9.0 earthquake that scientists believe will strike along the Cascadia Subduction Zone in a matter of time.
William R. Fairchild International Airport is expected to serve as an emergency supply hub after the next major earthquake.
County officials say the airport is on geologically stable ground and well positioned near heavy machinery.
“I think we’d be hard pressed to find a better location,” Clallam County Undersheriff and Emergency Management Director Ron Cameron said.
Port Angeles Police Chief Brian Smith said the preliminary design work is expected to be completed by early May.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].