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CenCom might seek $10.5 million bond for new facility

"Kitsap County voters could be asked to approve a $10.5 million measure Nov. 6 for a new 911 emergency dispatch facility in west Bremerton.Property owners would pay an additional 16 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value for five years if a simple majority of voters approve the measure. The money would provide for a seismically stable, 18,800-square-foot building for Kitsap County Central Communications (CenCom) and the county's Department of Emergency Management. The building would be completed by the end of 2003.The building would be at the new Kitsap County Emergency Services Readiness Center and useable for 30-50 years.Since the 1970s, the county's emergency dispatch and response facilities have operated from a remodeled toll booth for the old Warren Avenue Bridge. At the time, officials predicted the building could accommodate staff for 10 years. That was 25 years ago.CenCom Director Ron McAffee said a new building is necessary to accommodate the growing demands of the service and to ensure seismic stability. The Feb. 28 Nisqually earthquake rocked the existing facility, leaving behind unnerving cracks.The Kitsap County Commissioners have to approve the measure for a countywide vote before it appears on the fall ballot. The commissioners are scheduled to vote on the matter during a 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 20 meeting at the courthouse in Port Orchard.The CenCom policy board decided to ask the commissioners to approve the bond measure during a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Silverdale.The proposed measure is more expensive than McAffee's original estimate of $8.5 million.I didn't take into consideration all of the specifics, McAffee said.McAffee says the proposal for the emergency building is still frugal. CenCom paid Bremerton-based Rice-Fergus Architects $38,000 to evaluate and determine the proposed project's cost and scope.Dave Fergus, a partner in the firm says the project is right on the money as far as cost goes.Costs escalated primarily because the building must meet higher earthquake standards. The new building would be located on a solid surface with no known earthquake faults below.The building would almost be bedrocked to the surface, said Fergus. The facility will basically be earthquake proof.The new building would share a campus with a new training center used by the county's fire districts, Olympic College, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. National Guard. The Kitsap County Coroner also is seeking federal funds to construct a new coroner facility on that campus. "

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