This is not a done deal yet, but Geary County officials spent time Monday talking about where to locate a new emergency operations center. There was a plan to put the center in the basement of the County Office Building and a contract was even signed late in 2020 by a former commission.
But Trish Giordano, current County Commission Chair, wants to put two offices in the basement area along with a scaled down emergency operations center. "The reason why they put a basement in was for storage and if we ever grew, so if we can make everybody happy, get an EOC down there, get a couple of offices and also have enough storage then I think everybody has to be happy. But the EOC has to be smaller."
Giordano noted that the public building commission was present and some of the department heads spoke giving all their concerns about the lack of space that would be available if the EOC remains big. "So I think we can do a little bit of adjusting and take care of all the problems. " The commission chair noted that law enforcement and emergency management wanted to keep the EOC larger.
An emergency operations center could come into heavy use during times of disaster by multiple agencies. "But they also understand that we need to do something. They weren't in favor of doing the offices, but I feel to make the most of the area down there and not give us another issue that's what needs to be done," said Giordanoi.
Now the department heads will determine how much space they need for storage. Giordano added that the contractor is willing to work with the county on this project. The county is also still awaiting word on whether a proposed FEMA grant will be received to help pay for a portion of the project.
Conversations on an emergency operations center have been under way for some time.