On Tuesday, January 29, the Hays County Commissioners Court will discuss the potential relocation of the Emergency Communications and 9-1-1 Response Center (Item 38), which was part of the 2016 Hays County Proposition 1 Bond Package.
Proposition 1, the Public Safety Bond, was passed by voters in the 2016 Bond Election. The bond was proposed to fund an improved Hays Emergency Response Operations (HERO) Center and a new, expanded law enforcement center, which would coordinate emergency services throughout the County, and add and upgrade much-needed technology.
The facility would combine the communications departments of the local police departments in Hays County and fill the current “dangerous communication gaps in the 9-1-1 system” with the improved technologies.
The bond package included a site plan and location for the new facilities on the property behind the existing Hays County Government Center off Wonder World Dr.
The current Law Enforcement Communications building is 40 years old and served as the original jail until ’89, and the building is entirely built from cinder blocks. In 1997, the communications department was transferred over into the building.
Since then, officials have converted storage rooms into offices. The evidence locker has run out of space for housing new evidence.
The 911-call center, which originally was set up for nine operators, now has twenty-seven stations crammed together. You can look back at the Hays County 2016 Bonds – Proposition 1 here.
Hays County has already broken ground on the new facilities and begun construction. According to Hays County officials, the county has already invested roughly $20 million into the project including approximately $7 million in soft costs.
According to the business dictionary, a soft cost in the construction industry identifies something that is not a direct construction cost; “soft costs include architectural, engineering, financing, and legal fees, and other pre- and post-construction expenses.”
The item was placed on the agenda by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and his newly hired Chief of Staff, Alex Villalobos. Villalobos was elected to the Kyle City Council District 4 in November 2017. His term expires in November 2020.
In other news, the Hays County Commissioners Court will hold two public hearings on road related projects including the change of the speed limit of Manchaca Springs Road and establishing a four-way stop on Marsh Lane and Painted Desert Lane.
Commissioners Court will begin their regular meeting at 9 AM Tuesday.