By Kayleigh Rahn
According to Douglas County Board Chairman Don Munson, emergencies are tricky.
“An emergency is never perceived as an emergency until it happens,” he said.
That’s when a community realizes the importance of a key location, a command post, from where emergency personnel and key contributors would operate.
“(The county) couldn’t do too much about that,” Munson said. “We had no way for our emergency management to operate in an efficient way.”
However, with the construction of the Douglas County Annex, the county has met a need for the community and has added space for several county offices. The new space was dedicated during an open house Wednesday, June 24.
“Douglas County is a crossroads of almost all the major natural gas pipelines in the United States,” Munson said during the dedication. “There could be a big accident, we know that, but we all hope and pray that it won’t happen.”
However, in the event of an emergency, the county now has a command post in the Annex.
“We have worked on this plan for more than four years, trying to decide what does the county need and what can the county afford,” he said. “We tried to juggle the two. Previously our highway department and our EMA/Coroner have been in a double wide trailer for many years, and quite frankly it was quite insufficient for either of them, but they are both such good managers that they made do. We needed to do better than that.”
In the beginning stages, plans included an upgrade for County Engineer Jim Crane’s department as well, but as the state grew tighter needs shifted.
“(Crane) has stepped back and said until the state’s plan is a little bit clearer I think I can do with what I’ve got until we actually know what I need, so we started working on this side,” he said. “We did the best we could with the funds we had to do it.”
Judge Richard Broch led the dedication with an overview of what the building has to offer.
After nearly four years of planning and several months of construction, the coroner’s office and Emergency Management Agency has moved into their new home base.
The full story can be found in the June 28, 2017, edition of The Tuscola Journal.