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Construction begins on Martin County, regional 9-1-1 back-up center

(David Bone, Martin County Government photos)

The 9-1-1 back-up center for Martin County and the region surrounding it began Wednesday in Williamston.

It will serve as the county's primary 9-1-1 communications center and as a back-up facility for Bertie and Pasquotank County communications. State law requires back-up 9-1-1 communication centers so communities will have continuous coverage in the event the main 9-1-1 communications center becomes inoperable.

Below is a press release from Martin County Government with more details.

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Construction / site work recently began on the Martin County PSAP and Regional Back-up Center. A “PSAP” (or “Public Safety Answering Point’) is commonly referred to as a 9-1-1 center. The project involves the construction of a new, 5,000 square foot, 9-1-1 communications center on a county-owned site at 1528 Prison Camp Road in Williamston.

In addition to serving as the primary 9-1-1 communications center for Martin County, it will also serve as a back-up facility for Bertie County Communications and Pasquotank County (which also provides service to Camden County). Back-up 9-1-1 Communications Centers are required by a state law so local communities will have a mechanism for continuity of service in the event the main 9-1-1 communications center becomes inoperable, due to weather, phone outage or some other reason. The new center will be a state-of-the-art facility that will help Martin, Bertie and Pasquotank Counties provide the highest level of service to those living in or visiting the communities.

A $5,196,315 grant from the NC 9-1-1 Board will pay for the project. The NC 9-1-1 Board regulates 9-1-1 service throughout the state. Additionally, it collects a 9-1-1 fee through phone companies and distributes these funds to 9-1-1 centers across the state.

A $4,315,437 grant was awarded to Martin County in 2016. Since then, the project was designed and bid. The NC 9-1-1 Board agreed to fund an additional $880,878 in May, due to increased construction costs.

In addition to funding the construction of the new building, the grant also provides funding for the procurement and installation of Next Generation 9-1-1 technologies.

The current Martin County 9-1-1 communications center will be maintained as a back-up facility for Martin County.

Butch Lilley, Chairman of the Martin County Board of Commissioners, stated, “We are very appreciative to the NC 911 Board for its support of this project, providing 100% grant for the

construction of the building and purchase of the equipment. We are also thankful for our partners in Bertie and Pasquotank Counties for their collaboration in this regional initiative. We look forward to having a state-of-the-art 911 communications center that will serve the citizens of Martin County and the region for many years to come.”

Jason Steward, Telecommunications Manager and 9-1-1 Director for Martin County Communications stated, “We couldn’t be more excited to see this project begin construction. This event marks the culmination of the efforts of many individuals who came together many months ago with a common goal: providing life-saving, efficient, and quality emergency services for the citizens of Martin County and our regional partners. We look to the future opening and activation of this site with optimism, due to the professionalism and tireless work of our team.”

The Schrader Group is the architect for the project. A. R. Chesson Construction is the general contractor. Mission Critical Partners are the technology consultants, as well as the consultants who assisted with the grant application.

The following is the tentative schedule for the project:

* Construction, Through May 2019

* System Integration, June 2019

* Commissioning, July 2019

* Migration, August 2019

* Owner Occupancy, September 2019

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