By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Jackson County 911 center moving to new site
Placeholder Image

JEFFERSON — Jackson County’s Emergency 911 Center will be moving to a new home this fall without interrupting its current level of service, according to county officials.

At Monday night’s meeting, the Jackson County commission voted unanimously to approve the center’s relocation from downtown Jefferson to the new jail complex by the courthouse off Ga. 82.

"We’ve got a very nice facility over here that gives us the opportunity to do something with our 911 center that takes us probably 15-20 years in the future," said Steve Nichols, Jackson County Emergency Services director. "We’ve got a lot more secure facility than we do downtown. We’ve got the ability to add to it as we need to for future growth, so it’s a positive move to make at this time."

Nichols said his staff would begin moving this month and plan to be fully moved in to the new facility by December. In doing so, the department would be able to maintain its current level of 911 service.

"We’ve got a basic plan laid out already with all the entities that will be working with us on this," he said. "We don’t expect any major problems. We’ve got redundancy at both sites ... so there won’t be any interruptions to the system with 911 service."

The new dispatch facility, which is a self-contained unit separate from the jail and sheriff’s office, has been a part of the plans for the jail complex since the plans initially were approved in 2006, according to Don Clerici, county capital projects manager.

Planning Manager Gina Mitsdarffer also was on hand at Monday’s meeting to discuss the progress the department has made on the comprehensive plan.

The next step in the process, which the board approved unanimously Monday, is to send two major documents to the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission and to the state Department of Community Affairs: the contents of the community participation part of the comprehensive plan and the technical community assessment.

The first document is a product of town hall meetings the planning department held last month in each of the four districts in Jackson County to get residents’ input on how they want to see the county grow in the next 10 to 20 years.

The second is one that the planning department worked on with consultant Jerry Weitz, the comprehensive plan steering committee, several county department heads and the county planning commission to develop.

It gives a detailed foundation for the community assessment section of the plan. This involves several components, including "identification of potential issues and opportunities in the county, analysis of existing development patterns, areas requiring special attention, recommended character areas, analysis of consistency with quality community objectives and supporting analysis of data and information," according to the Jackson County Web site.