Dothan and Houston County's planned E-911 Command Center took another step toward becoming reality Thursday at a board meeting.
Early on in Thursday’s meeting, the Dothan Houston County Enhanced 911 Committee talked of adding a new group to the command center: the city's Information Technology Department.
Chief Jimmy Williams, with the Dothan Fire Department said, "With a lot of the networking capabilities and future growth, you're gonna’ need to support it anyway. With them being so close, I think it will be good for everybody."
Another possible addition to the building would be a spot for a media center utilized by the Southern Company in the event of an emergency. If this is a possibility, the Southern Company could pay up to a third of the cost for the media center.
Houston County EMA Director Clark Matthews said, "They feel like they would use a third. So, they're gonna’ pay a third of the total project? No, I think it will be a third of the media center.”
The next step in the process is to have an architectural firm draw up preliminary designs for the building with the current specifications in mind.
Dothan Public Works Director Jerry Corbin says, "It's been very difficult for projects to nail down what is a comfortable cost estimate, even a final cost estimate.”
Police Chief Powell and Houston County EMA Director Matthews were impressed with the Center for Public Safety. From a trip they took to Orlando to see some of their work, that played a big role in them having the preliminary design, along with their specialty being public buildings.
Matthews says once the Center for Public Safety receives a request for plans, the building's layout should be available within 60-days.