The $21 million Boone County Emergency Communications Center in fast-growing Columbia is being praised by Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson.
The Bolivar Republican toured the center last week, saying the facility is important for the safety of officers.
“I think for the future to have these type of centers in our communities anymore, state-of-the-art, to be able to provide this to the general public out there, but also to provide it for our emergency personnel for their safety is huge that we do this,” Parson says.
Boone County voters approved a 3/8 percent sales tax in 2013 to fund the project, and the 28,000 square feet facility was dedicated in September 2016.
Officials tell Parson that before it was built, they had to buy parts on eBay.
Parson tells Missourinet you can’t “cut the edges” when it comes to emergency responses.
“Because sooner or later there’s going to be a tragedy, there’s going to be an incident that calls for the emergency personnel,” says Parson. “And you want them trained, you want the facilities wherever they can meet the demands of the calls from the public, and it looks like to me there’s some really good foreplanning in this facility.”
Parson notes the Boone County Emergency Communications Center receives about 80,000 911 calls annually.
The facility is designed to withstand 250-mile-per-hour winds, and every power and plumbing system in the building has a backup to the primary system.
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce organized Parson’s visit to the center. Democratic Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill joined the Republican for the tour.
Center officials also tell Parson that Columbia’s daytime population is now about 225,000.
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