By Michael Campbell, News Editor
SURRY – Efforts to move the county’s volunteer rescue squad into a newer facility that will allow staff to perform their duties more effectively with the latest technology continues to progress well, according to county officials.
In an interview, county administrator Tyrone Franklin explained that a site in the county’s industrial park along Route 10 is being looked at as the location for this new facility, a shift from previous plans to have the building housed near the government complex.
The shift also allows for the county to possibly work with Dominion Resources, operators of the Surry Power Station, who Franklin said have shown favorable support toward the project but, haven’t stated their level of financial contribution to the project.
“We identified a spot outside the 10-mile radius outside the plume zone in an emergency at the industrial park,” he explained. “Once built, whenever there is a need for Dominion to get off-site to deal with an emergency, they would be able to mobilize there because of the space and accommodations there.”
Additionally, Franklin explained that the building would house the county’s emergency operations center and other emergency services, along with a full-feature helipad.
In February, Brian Camden, project manager for the county, briefed supervisors on the progress of the building, telling county leaders that the plan was to have the new facility built a short distance away from the Surry Government Center along School Street but, Dominion Resources reached out to the county requesting a site that was “more adaptable” for their emergency operations center.
At that time, Camden said the budget for the original building, slated to be approximately 7,000-square feet in size, was $1.2 million. This new facility that would be built at the Surry West Business Park would add approximately 4,500-square feet, mainly comprised of the new EOC, and an estimated $900,000 to the price tag.
Furthermore, Camden and Franklin explained that the county looked at a series of sites, including the location at the industrial park and outside the government center in the Town of Surry, with the location in the town initially winning out because of the extensive site work that would be required for the location in the Surry West Business Park.
Additionally, the sites looked at by the county were locations that Supervisor John Seward said were “central to where the larger volume of calls are.”
“A good majority of the calls are in the area of the two apartment complexes and the location was central to the call volume,” he remarked.
According to Franklin last week, with the addition of the EOC facility, planners will now have to factor that 4,500-square-foot facility into their design and engineering efforts for the overall rescue squad, which makes a timetable for the project hard to determine at this time.
“The scope and location of this project has changed,” the county administrator remarked. “This is one of those projects that the Board sees value in so we are going to move forward with it.”
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