Port of Port Angeles building eyed for Emergency Operations Center

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County is preparing to enter into an agreement with Lindberg Architecture to determine how much work is needed before the Port of Port Angeles-owned 10.10 Building could be used as an Emergency Operations Center and a dispatch center.

Commissioner Mark Ozias said Monday that the county would have a budget emergency hearing July 30 in anticipation of about $7,500 in costs.

“I tend to agree this work is important to move forward,” Ozias said.

The county routinely has “budget emergencies” to process unanticipated costs that were not budgeted in the previous year.

The county and the city of Port Angeles are considering leasing the Port of Port Angeles-owned 10.10 Building adjacent to Fairchild International Airport.

Lease negotiations are ongoing, but port and county officials said the hope is for the county to occupy the building this fall.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said there will be a “huge amount of work” to prepare the building for housing the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

“The cost of modifying the space and moving in is going to be several million dollars,” Benedict said. “You can expect [Lindberg Architecture] is going to get some share of that.”

Benedict told commissioners that though negotiations are ongoing and though there is no guarantee the county will receive the Port Security Grant it applied for, he feels the work needs to happen anyway.

Benedict said the $7,500 price tag for Lindberg Architecture would climb significantly if negotiations are successful.

He said he has the $7,500 in the Sheriff’s Office’s budget to cover the initial cost.

“I sense that what commissioners are telling us is that, with or without this grant, we’re probably going to move forward,” Benedict said.

Officials said previously the hope is to secure more than $1 million with a port security grant. Benedict said he is optimistic the grant application will be successful.

The county has long sought to move the EOC out of the courthouse basement and closer to the airport.

“It’s next to the airport, it’s within city limits and [the area] is resistant to earthquakes,” Benedict said. “Those are all things we previously identified.”

The county is working jointly with the city of Port Angeles in the effort and has eyed multiple locations in Port Angeles, but settled on the Port of Port Angeles property earlier this year.

Among them was the Lincoln Center — which has been mostly vacant since the closure of the North Olympic Skills Center in 2018 — but the Port Angeles School District instead decided to use the building to house the administrative staff and nonprofits that would rent space from the district.

John Nutter, director of property, marinas and airports for the port, said Tuesday that negotiations are ongoing as both sides work to build protections into the lease.

Nutter anticipates port and county commissioners to discuss the topic during a joint meeting next month. The Clallam County Commissioners also plan to discuss the Emergency Operations Center during next Monday’s 9 a.m. work session.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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