Work on 911 dispatch center could start soon

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By Shane Farley
October 10, 2013 - 8:45:25 am

Work could begin next month on a project to remodel the basement of the Cowley County Courthouse south annex for use as a consolidated 911 dispatch center.

Bonds to fund the project were sold in August and a bidding process is set to begin next week. Bids are due by the end of this month and county officials hope work can start by mid November.

The $3.6 million project will provide a permanent home for dispatchers, who became employees of the county earlier this year. Previously police departments in Ark City and Winfield had provided dispatch services for the county.

County officials said the planning process for the remodeling project had taken a bit longer than expected. In April, county voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax to fund the project.

A natural gas line will need to be removed from the property, which sits just south of the county courthouse in Winfield. Heating and air improvements will also be necessary, county officials said.

Plans include moving county clerk and treasurer operations to the building, which served as a bank until being purchased by the county several years ago.

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