December 2, 2021

Work begins on 911 center

S.N. Briere/Staff Reporter

Roof work begins on 22 W. Court St. Friday morning. The building will become the new site for the county’s 911 dispatch center. The department is now located in the county Public Safety building at 54 Greenbush St.

Workers with WCA Roofing of East Syracuse started Friday taking off the old roof of 22 W. Court St, Cortland to get ready for Cortland County’s new 911 dispatch center.

The roof and asbestos abatement is just the beginning of what is needed to get the space ready for 911 dispatchers.

“That should be wrapped up next week,” said Scott Roman, the county director of emergency response and communications.

The 3,000-square-foot building will turn into the county’s primary 911 center, moving operations from the county public safety building at 54 Greenbush St., Cortland. However, it will be a while — 18 months to two years — before the dispatchers make the move, Roman said.

At the moment, no interior design has been completed for the new center, nor a cost estimate. The county hopes to fund the work entirely from grants.

After the roof is finished, Roman said, he’ll wait to see what grant funding comes in and continue working on the interior designs.

“We’re still hashing out issues of where we want certain things,” he said.

Then there’s also determining what else needs to be done to the exterior of the building.

Roman said the windows may get replaced because he has around $140,000 left from a state Department of Homeland Security grant.

Roman said he has so far received a $200,000 grant from state Department of Homeland Security. He’s hoping for another.

“In years past, we’ve gotten almost $1 million,” he said. “We expect to stay on track for that, but I haven’t seen anything yet.”

“Almost all of it will be paid by Homeland Security money,” he said, noting he isn’t trying to use any county money.

But Roman has requests out to several other organizations for grants, including a request for a grant from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority.

Sheriff Mark Helms said once he’s sure the dispatch center is moving, he will begin thinking about how he can use all of the office space. He said the area where dispatchers take calls would likely become a training and conference area.

“I hadn’t thought specifically for the individual offices,” he said. “We’re always hurting for space, so I know I’ll have things to put in there. It’s not going to be a wasted space by any means.”