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Commissioners Buying $670K Warehouse For New 9-1-1 Emergency Center

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 @ 12:08 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 9.17.59 PMSHIPPENVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County Commissioners Wayne Brosius, Ted Tharan, and Ed Heasley on Tuesday morning approved the execution of sales agreements for three properties in Paint Township near the Clarion County Jail that will allow the relocation of Clarion County 9-1-1 offices and address other county needs.

(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)

The purchase of the former Sorce/Krouse warehouse for $670,000.00; a nearby parcel of land for $40,000.00 from Lila Holdings, LLC; and another parcel from Winscot, Inc. and Smathers Managing Partner for $40,000.00. The 55,000 square foot Sorce Warehouse was owned by the Wein Brothers Building Account.

Commissioners plan to use as much funding as allowable from the county COVID grant, according to Brosius. In addition to serving as a new 9-1-1 center, other uses such as storage for elections material could also qualify under the COVID regulations.

Tharan outlined some of the planned uses for the large warehouse.

“In addition to the 9-1-1 Emergency Center, we will have storage for COVID related products, EMA storage, the maintenance department will move over there, and we could use the facilities for storage of voting machines and related material,” Tharan said.

“We’re also going to have plans to possibly do testing for COVID in the future and exploring the possibility of having the health department. We have enough space that if the need arises at the jail and if there would be an outbreak of COVID, there we could move our clerical staff and stuff over because there’s plenty of space.

“Part of our Election Office, the vote counting, could also move. During that last primary, we had all of those ballots coming in the mail, absentee ballots in the Main Street Administrative Building. We had people in here working in the hallway or working in the lobby. You can hardly get customers through the building, and we need to be spaced out, especially right when a pandemic is going on.

“We want to utilize the building as much as possible for COVID projects to mitigate the germs and stuff for all the vehicles. There is a possibility that we can get County Transportation moved there, and they could spray their vehicles.”

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Federal requires that the COVID grant money must be spent by December 31, 2020, not allowing much time for the completion of such a project.

To help keep the project on schedule, Commissioners approved a contract with MCM Consulting Group, Inc. for Technology Assessment, Design, Acquisition, Implementation, Verification, Training, and Project Management Services for a new Public Safety Facility. Term: Twelve months from start date at a cost of $110,688.90. Commissioners also okayed a  contract with Zito on behalf of the Department of Public Safety to help lay fiber from the courthouse to the Clarion County Jail to the new 9-1-1 Center.

The Clarion County Salary Board also approved the creation of eight positions of temporary, part-time maintenance employees to modify and renovate the warehouse for use by the county. The temporary, part-time, nonexempt employees were approved at a salary range of nine dollars to $40.00 per hour. Tharan said that the wage is differed according to the skill needed for the renovation work. The salary board also stipulated that the workers could work no more than 1,000 hours per year. The approval of the workers was effective August 10, 2020.

The purchase of the three properties expands the “footprint” of Clarion County on Paint Township, including the Jail, County Park, and former Riverhill Beverage purchased for vehicle storage, EMA equipment, and record storage. Tharan said the County might put the former beverage building back up for sale after the new project is completed and it provides more room.

The county-owned property is tax-exempt, decreasing tax revenue for Paint Township, Clarion Area School District, and Clarion County.

A move for the 9-1-1 Emergency Center and records storage to the new building would leave the old jail empty. Tharan said no decision has been made about the fate of the old jail behind the courthouse.

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