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Darien storm damage delays E-911 center
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After reporting at the April 30 meeting that the final changes for the Wiregrass E-911 McIntosh/Long Communication Center were nearly complete, the May 11 storms have delayed the project indefinitely.
During last Wednesday’s monthly meeting between GeoComm and Long and McIntosh counties, GeoComm project manger Ron Bloom said that as a result of the structure damage, the timeline for the plan to go online “could not be determine at this time.”
Bloom also reported the project encountered another setback in May when the architect who had been contracted for the renovations on the communication center died unexpectedly.
According to Bloom, the area hit by the storm had been inspected by President Bush and declared a natural disaster area, meaning Federal Emergency Management Agency funds soon would be available to help rebuild damaged portions.
Plans call for the center to be rebuilt on the existing site, but Bloom said he didn’t know how long the process would take. He also was unsure if Long County would have to absorb any addition rebuilding costs, but asserted FEMA funding would make up the difference in the “cost of replacement.”
The requested proposal for the center’s electrical components has been finalized, but coordinators will hold off on obtaining the equipment until the new building is ready.
Project coordinators currently are searching for a new architect following the death of Lee Myers, who was chosen to head up the renovations.
“There is another architectural firm looking at buying Lee’s company now, so this should be able to be taken care of,” Bloom said.
Long County E-911 committee member Mike McGowan said, “It is so unbelievable the events taking place with Lee dying and the building being destroyed. We truly feel for out sister county and Lee’s family.
“But from the standpoint of the project,” McGowan said, “Long County will be ready to go forward once McIntosh County and FEMA get all the details worked out in establishing another communications center.”
The next monthly meeting is at 3 p.m. June 25 at the Long County Courthouse.
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