Members of the local board presiding over Dothan's E911 district have reached a decision on who will design and build a proposed Joint Emergency Operations Center.
In a resolution some see as an affront to local construction firms, on Tuesday, the Communications District Board approved to hire Montgomery-based PH&J Architects to helm the $373,000 project.
The controversy stems from differing opinions on whether to bring in a non-local contractor with specialized experience, or to hire a local firm and keep business in the Wiregrass.
The E911 board will also enter a 3-month contract with 911 Consult for guidance on the project, a vote all but one board member approved Tuesday.
In the next three months, the Joint Emergency Center will be designed, then put up for bid from contractors across Alabama.
The center will house City of Dothan and Houston County 911 dispatchers, as well as the local Emergency Management Agency.
It will be built at the corner of North Cherry Street and East Adams Street in Dothan. Construction is expected to take a year and a half to complete.