CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — In less than a year, the Harrison/Taylor 911 Center will call Charles Pointe its home.
The Harrison County Commission voted to purchase property at the complex Wednesday. The purchase will cost the county $2.297 million dollars.
Commission President Ron Watson was absent from the meeting to attend a conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
“They had the meeting, and I knew that they were going to vote on it,” Watson said. “They didn’t really need my vote because all it takes it two votes to pass anything from the county commission. If I had been there, my vote would’ve been no.”
Watson said he does not believe the Convest building is conducive for a 911 center, due mostly to its ease of accessibility. He also felt that the commission should continue with the property they had already invested time and money in.
Commission previously discussed utilizing the Quarry property in Clarksburg, which the county already owns. Watson said $1 million was spent in studies to determine if the land was suitable for such a structure.
However, now that the motion has passed, Watson said he will join his fellow commissioners in working to move the project forward.
“You know, that’s the democratic way. No use crying over spilt milk,” he said. “I’m going to support whatever they want.”
The next step will be to close on the property, which Watson said will take about 45 days.
“During that time, we’ve got an RFP out for design and archeticural purposes,” he said. “We’ll be selecting an archetict and doing the design and layout to how the building will accommodate the 911 services and space requirements.”
Watson said all of this will come to fruition within the next few months.
“Once the closing is done, it could be as soon as about four months,” he said. “But I would like to be a little more cautious and say six months. Hopefully by spring of next year, I would think that it would be ready to move into.”
Had commission moved forward with the Quarry location in Clarksburg, they would have taken out a 40-year U.S. Department of Agriculture loan for up to $9 million.
By instead purchasing the property at 735 Genesis Blvd. at Charles Pointe, Harrison County Administrator Willie Parker estimates the cost savings at $1.5 million upfront and $4 million in interest.
“What we’re doing here is, we’re buying the building with existing funds that we have encumbered over the years,” Watson said. “The monies that 911 would be paying back from 911 fees to pay off the loan, it’d be paying back the general fund. We’ll be saving a heck of a lot on interest.”