Currently, the county is renting the dispatch center from the City of Brenham. The current five year lease that expires in September of next year can be renewed five years annually.
County Judge John Brieden says, after that time frame, the city could not guarantee the building would be available for rent, as it could pursue developing that property.
Brieden says this is just early discussion, to stay ahead if plans change.
Brieden says the county has a comprehensive inter-local agreement that dictates which services the county and city are responsible for. Roughly five years old, the agreement covers which county and city-wide services both Brenham and Washington County are responsible for. For example, Brieden said, the county takes care of 911 and dispatch services, while the city is responsible for animal control and the animal shelter.
Commissioner Joy Fuchs says the county is not unhappy with the current building it is in, but it wants to anticipate future growth in the county. She is also looking for a “hardened” building that can safely house all of the county’s communications equipment. She says the county has been in “constant communication” with the city about this facility.
Brieden says the county does not have cost estimates for a new communications facility currently. He says, if plans move forward with this center, the county will explore plans to finance it.
Currently, the county budgets around $1.75 million for communications operations out of the city building, with around three-fourths of that being personnel costs. The county is still considering potential locations for this new facility.
Commissioners will meet this morning at 9 a.m., at the Washington County Courthouse.