Officials discuss spending $45 million public safety bond

Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 18:20:44-05

Community leaders met on Tuesday to discuss how the $45 million public safety bond would be spent. 

“We have been planning this for a couple years so we have a very specific idea for what we want to do,” said Douglas County Commissioner Jim Cavanaugh.

He said it's great to finally sit down and discuss the plan for the $45 million bond.

$20 million will go towards renovating the Fitzgerald building.

This is where the new 911 center will relocate. The goal is to update the county's 911 system to “Next Generation 911,” that will ultimately help first responders find people faster.

Another $8.5 million will be spent so first responders can communicate consistently in emergency situations.

“I think it will touch virtually the entire Douglas County first responder community and includes the city police and fire,” said Cavanaugh.

Before construction starts the county has to make the building plans fit each department that will use it.

“We get into January and you get into drawings and documents for HVAC, geothermal, plumbing, electrical,” said Jerry Leahy, Douglas County Director of Public Property. 

The updates and upgrades the bond will provide are crucial to maintaining emergency response in Douglas County.

“We are hopeful we can get a quick start on this project, we want to bring it in at budget as quickly and possible and high quality as possible,” said Cavanaugh.

The bond will also help pay for new radio systems for the Sheriff’s office and major Douglas County jail updates.

SEE RELATED: $45 million Douglas County bond to help necessary jail updates

Voters to decide on $45 million bond for Douglas County

The county should have access to the funds from the bonds by February and construction on the Fitzgerald building should start next spring.

SEE RELATED: Nebraska plans to make 911 better