911 to move to security center


Cost permitting, the county 911 department will move back into the county security center.

The Dubois County Commissioners consented on Monday to use a pod in the current security center to house the 911 department. Before completely committing to the change, they want to find out the actual cost to do so, which would come to them in the form of a change order on the jail construction project. But they were in favor of the move.

“I think it makes sense to have 911 up there,” Commissioner Nick Hostetter said. “We’ve got a current remodeling and building project going on. It makes sense to do it now.”

Commissioner Elmer Brames said he also agreed, especially since the 911 department is in support. He mentioned that a previous concern was that having the department at the security center could be a security issue in the event of an attack or an incident. But he sees the department being more protected and secure if it is located in the security center.

“I think the security advantages of being on that campus are an improvement to that whole process,” Brames said, “rather than a hindrance.”

The 911 system started in Dubois County 1991. The department used to be in a small area in the security center near its lobby. Because the department needed more space, 911 moved to the St. Charles Street Annex, which also houses the county health department, after the county acquired the building in 2002.

Commissioners President Chad Blessinger presented the idea Monday and listed reasons why the move would be beneficial. He serves on the 911 advisory board and has been the main liaison for the construction project to expand and improve the security and community corrections centers.

“It would be a benefit to law enforcement and 911 on the same campus,” he explained. Currently, getting needed documents and recordings from each other requires traveling to the other building.

“Plus, it opens up space that is needed by the health department,” Blessinger said.

The health department has repeatedly stated over the years that it needs additional space. That has become even more evident recently with the increased number of vaccines the department administers.

Work is now underway to expand and make improvements on the security center, including adding an additional jail pod that will house inmates. The 911 department would move into a current jail pod after that pod is vacated and remodeled. The county emergency management agency is also moving to the building, into another vacated and remodeled pod.

Blessinger confirmed that revenue from the corrections and rehabilitation income tax, which was put in place in 2019, can be used for the 911 project.

The commissioners also:

• Approved pursuing a State Water Infrastructure Fund grant for sewer work in Haysville as part of the regional sewer district plans. Mary Austin of Clark Dietz said the proposal for the district is about 95% done and will be made public after the different stakeholders involved review it.

• Adopted the countywide bike and pedestrian master plan.

• Heard an update about planning work being done to create a COVID-19 memorial.

• Hired C&R Construction to pave sections of County Roads 630S and 400W for $190,179.

• Supported adding another paid position to the county coroner’s office. The Dubois County Council, which meets next week, must approve funding the position.

• Declared three desktops as surplus.

• Approved closing sections of South and St Joseph streets in St. Anthony from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, for the annual St. Anthony Car Show.

• Approved a limited use request from the St. Patrick Celebration group to use sections of County roads 700W and 500N from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, for its annual Irish Road Bowling.

More on DuboisCountyHerald.com