By David Martin

Center may move from RS


August 29, 2018

Moving the backup dispatch center in Rock Springs to a new home at the Sweetwater County Justice Center could be costly for the Sweetwater County Combined Communications Joint Powers Board.

The board’s backup dispatch center is located at 731 C Street in Rock Springs, the former home of the Rock Springs Circuit Court and Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office. The center is the only group using the building after the county moved offices from the building to the newer justice center between Rock Springs and Green River. The backup dispatch center will eventually need to move out as well, which will cost approximately $785,000. Wamsley said some of the costs could be covered through 911 funding, but anticipates a majority will be paid for through reserve funding.

The backup center operates in conjunction with the dispatch center in Green River, but serves as a backup in case emergency communications and dispatch service provided at the Green River center are interrupted.

According to Jim Wamsley, a member of the joint powers board and the interim director of the center, the county is looking to close the building. During a meeting between representatives of the center and the county’s facilities manager, Chuck Radosevich, Wamsley said he was informed the county did not budget utility costs for the 731 C Street building in its current budget.

“I was surprised, I thought it was a fact-finding mission,” Wamsley said about the meeting during an interview with the Green River Star.

Sweetwater County Commissioner John Kolb, who was attending the joint powers board meeting Monday, said the budget could be amended to cover the utilities costs for the building. Kolb said he wasn’t sure what Radosevich was thinking when he told Wamsley about not funding utilities.

“We’re not going to switch a circuit breaker off and turn off the power,” Kolb said.

David Halter, the IT director for the joint powers board, said delaying the move during the 2019-2020 fiscal year would be helpful. As summer winds down, the construction window for equipment becomes shorter for the board. One project they will need to contend with is purchasing and building a new communications tower at the justice center.

One of the largest costs associated with the move involves the center’s radio tower at the C Street building. Wamsley said moving the tower and equipment to the center’s new location and purchasing a new tower and equipment come out to be a wash.

As such, the center plans to purchase a new tower and equipment. The updated equipment will also be under warranty.

Another issue the board faces with the space provided to them at the justice center is the space wasn’t designed for their needs. According to Kolb, the dispatch center wasn’t involved in the justice center’s preliminary engineering phase and wasn’t considered until afterward.

A move to the justice center may not be permanent for the board’s backup center.

Wamsley, who is the chief of the Rock Springs Fire Department, said some discussion between himself and Rock Springs Police Chief Dwane Pacheco has involved the possibility of building a joint police and fire station on Gateway Boulevard.

Funding for preliminary architectural and engineering work has not been approved by the Rock Springs City Council yet, though Wamsley believes a new station would better serve Rock Springs’ residents. He also believes including a mirror dispatch center in Rock Springs would provide better service to the county’s residents.

The radio tower would remain at the justice center, but would benefit the county’s needs. The board will revisit the issue during the board’s September meeting.


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