Plans for Joint Emergency Operation Center in Venango County Moving Forward

| July 18, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – Plans for a new Joint Emergency Operation Center in Venango County are moving forward.

(PHOTO: Projected Franklin Professional Building.)

According to Hilary Buchanan, Deputy Planning Director for the Venango County Planning Commission, the project, which will go into the Franklin Professional Building in Franklin, is now out for bid with bids being opened August 23. The project will be paid for with grant money obtained through a PEMA grant that “all told” is nearly $1 million and came about after the flooding of Chub and Morrison Runs over 20 years ago.

“The grant itself started in 2008,” Buchanan said. “It has been a long time in the works.

“(The County) was finally able to get the money by doing some projects with this being one of them,” Buchanan said. “(The County) needed to come up with different projects to fill the needs of both Franklin and Sandycreek (Township).”

According to Venango County Commissioner Albert “Chip” Abramovic, a Joint Emergency Operation Center is basically a big room where all entities that need to coordinate during a disaster or emergency can meet.

“They need a big room to meet in,” Abramovic said. “Currently, they are using one of the conference rooms in the Human Service building. This will be a standalone room.”

Abramovic gave an example of what the one in Allegheny County looks like.

“It is probably a 100-foot-by-50-foot room with work stations and signs above the work stations telling what each work station is,” Abramovic said. “Upfront is a podium where the person in charge can speak from. This is a big room with phone, internet hookups, etc. In Allegheny County, they even have a press area off the main room. Some of what they have is different than what we need.”

Abramovic said the Venango County Joint Emergency Operation Center could also possibly serve as a backup 9-1-1 center.

“I believe they should be able to dispatch from there, as well,” Abramovic said. “Having a separate place you can dispatch from is important, I believe.”

Buchanan believes the nearly $1 million should be “plenty” when it comes to getting the project completed, and the absolute latest the center would be up and running is December of 2021.

“That would be the absolute latest,” Buchanan said. “Our goal is to get there before then.”

Barkeyville Burger King Drive-Thru Expansion Receives Approval

The Venango County Planning Commission gave conditional approval for an expansion of the Barkeyville Burger King drive-thru.

The Barkeyville Burger King will be adding a second drive-thru lane for people to order food. After ordering, cars will merge back into one lane to pay and receive their order.

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