Public Safety Center proposed in Washington

Washington, N.C. (WNCT)- Washington city leaders are discussing the possibility of building a Public Safety Center to serve as home for all emergency personnel. Assistant City Manager, Matt Rauschenbach, told WNCT that people are in favor of this structure and want the planning to move forward, but that can’t happen without money.

Rauschenbach said it would take 5.2 million dollars to build the facility. The city has already set aside $900,000 for the project. Rauschenbach says the city is weighing its payment options, some include financing through a bank or applying for grants. If they do come up with the money, the facility would be built on the corner of Fifth and Bonner Street in Washington. The new structure would house the Police Department, Fire and Rescue, and EMS. He also mentioned that the city’s law enforcement is looking to interact with the community more, and the center would provide space for that. Rauschenbach said all departments have old buildings and could benefit from a new facility. He also said it would give them the opportunity to collaborate.

“We’ve crossed trained officers and firefighters so that improves our response time as well as enables us to manage with less staff as well,” Rauschenbach said.

Some preliminary calls have been made, including talks with an architect. The planning cannot move forward until the city figures out exactly how they are going to fund the project. Rauschenbach says raising taxes is the last thing the city wants to do.

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