Earlier this week, the Putnam County 911 Emergency Operations Center (EOC) moved into a new facility. Nearly six years after plans for the construction of an EOC and 911 facility were formulated, the project is nearly complete.
Radios were being moved to the Center starting on Wednesday this week. According to 911 Director Dave Costin it will take most of the rest of the week to move them all.
"We are transitioning radios all week. We've notified responders that the new center is officially open and we have moved out of the courthouse," said Costin.
Putnam County Planning Director Kim Hyten told the Banner Graphic that during the transition the 911 Center did not lose a single call.
"Some calls from landlines went to operators and were transferred over and all the cell calls came in fine. We were really pleased at how well the transition went," he said.
Monies for the EOC project come from Hazardous Waste Funds. Putnam County has one of only two hazardous waste sites in Indiana, located on S.R. 236 in Russell Township.
For every ton of waste deposited in the site, the state gets 75 percent of the $11.50 per ton fee. Putnam County gets the other 25 percent ($1.50). It is these funds that are being used to finance the new center.
"The county received $1.2 million one year and averages about $1 million a year generally," said Costin.
Hyten emphasized that, "the monies from this fund cannot legally be used for any other projects such as roads, property taxes or other issues. This means Putnam County residents are not paying for the facility. Companies dumping their hazardous waste at the site, which is very tightly controlled, are paying for it," he said.
"And, one of the reasons we have this center is because of the county commissioners. We have damn good commissioners who are working hard to do everything they can to help this county," added Hyten.
In addition to housing the county's 911 center, the new facility will house the command center for emergencies like tornadoes, flooding or other disasters. It will be used for all types of emergency training and it has a generator that will keep the 911 Center and the County Highway Department up and running in a disaster.
"This center will take Putnam County forward for the next 50 years. We will be prepared for any emergencies," said Costin.
An open house for the community will take place sometime in August or September once Costin is happy with all functions in the building. The new EOC is located at 1600 W. CR 225 S. in Greencastle.