NEW MILFORD TOWNSHIP, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Improving response time. That’s the mission of a new public safety complex in Susquehanna County. Officials broke ground Monday at the new site.
Come next year the county’s 911 center and public safety department will no longer be at the county seat in Montrose. It’s moving east for a more centralized location. Susquehanna County Commissioners broke ground on the new public safety center in New Milford Township.
“What this facility is going to offer us is a static foundational location where all of our stuff is already ready so we’re just ready to go,” Susquehanna County Public Safety Director Bruce Butler said.
Butler says the center will house the new 911 center, emergency management agency, relocate the New Milford District Magistrate’s office, and a training area for local emergency services. With new equipment, space, and public safety departments in one building, response time will improve.
“We’ll have the ability to communicate more effectively with the towers that are going up. We’ll have a much better reach into these valleys and these areas where currently radio transmission is difficult. Response for the department of public safety again will be very quick in that everything is ready to mobilize,” Butler said.
The center will be located near the Gibson state police barracks. Scott Aylesworth says Interstate 81 will provide quicker access to the facility and any emergency. Plus, the center will have a place to stage supplies.
“In an event we needed, you know, to distribute medication or water or any of that. We’re going to have a location here that will allow us to do that. Close to the interstate, it’s close for people get stuff to us to easy for us to get stuff out,” Aylesworth said.
The new center will cost the county $20 million and taxpayers zero. County commissioners have saved more than $15 million from oil and gas impact fees, also known as Act 13. The remainder will be paid for by grants.
“We don’t want to burden them with any extra, you know, financial obligations of any kind. So that’s why that’s important to. So excited in many ways,” county commissioner Judy Herschel said.
Construction at the site is expected to start as early as Tuesday. The Susquehanna County public safety center is expected to be completed and in full use by April.