Although the Linn County E911 Board hasn’t settled on a definite location for the E911 Communications Center to come, they have found a building that meets all of their criteria: The Business Complex (old St. Francis Hospital building) in Marceline. But they wouldn’t use that entire sprawling structure, just a 9,000 square foot area on the southeast corner (see graphic that accompanies this feature).
The criteria for the structure the E911 Board wants are as follows:
- It needs to be a stand-alone facility;
- It must have a minimum of 5,000 square feet of floor space;
- It must have its own independent utilities;
- It must have dual fiber optic access;
- It has to be handicap-accessible;
- It must be a secure location in a controlled environment with the benefit of 24-hour police protection;
- It must be an existing structure as construction of a new one would be cost-prohibitive ($5 million to $6 million);
- It must have space for sleeping quarters;
- It must have space for a training room and a board room, as well as office space.
In a followup interview with the E911 Board Chairman and Marceline City Manager, Luke Lewis, he assured that the E911 Board hasn’t taken a vote on this issue. He says they won’t until the members are satisfied that no other structure meets the criteria, and the Board has done a cost analysis. Lewis clarified, “When I serve as Chair of the E911 Board, I’m looking for the alternative that serves Linn County best. My interests as E911 Board Chair are not just for the welfare of Marceline, but for Linn County as a whole.“ Supporting that assertion is the E911 Board’s intention to also use the building that is eventually chosen as a “multipurpose facility for the entire county’s benefit.” Lewis says he would also like to see the Linn County Emergency Management Director housed in the Linn County E911 Communication Center to come. “It makes sense for the County Emergency Management Director to be located near the emergency communication center,” Lewis asserted.
GBA Architects of Lenexa, KS. did a study of the Marceline Business Complex last year that was paid for by the Marceline IDA. Lewis advised the E911 Board during his PowerPoint presentation at Marceline City Hall Wednesday, “GBA determined that our area of the Business Complex is of sound construction, but may need some exterior tuck-pointing. Although there are none at the Business Complex, there are existing fiber optic lines within a mile of it.