RiverCom 911, Wenatchee's public safety communications center plans to relocate.

The center answers and processes 9-1-1 calls and non-emergency calls and provides that information to police, fire and medical agencies in Chelan and Douglas counties.

Due to increasing staff and evolving technologies, the center searched for property around the Wenatchee Valley to construct a new building.

Rivercom Executive Director Lowell Porter had sites in mind, but those relocation projects would have required the center to build from the ground up.

At today's board meeting, Porter broke the news that the center plans to lease space inside the Confluence Technology Center (CTC) at 285 Technology Center Way for its operations.

CTC building where RiverCom plans to relocate
CTC building where RiverCom plans to relocate

"We are going to be in a long term lease agreement, but what we're not doing is incurring debt, and leveraging bond dollars and all that. We're going to be able to be our own bank, and do this project."

Inside the CTC space, Lowell needed to make sure the facilities were adequate for the center's dispatchers to provide first line of contact with the public when calling for emergency and non-emergency services.

He says the center hit the jackpot.

"We did what's called a line of sight study for the radio network. It works. (We) did a noise floor analysis for interference with communication. That works. (We) looked at the power, plenty (of power), and then looked at data that was sent in. So all of a sudden, it meets that first layer of analysis and I went, oh my gosh," Porter said. "And then it meets FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) security and NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) security. All these things fell into place."

Lowell now believes RiverComm can be fully operational in under 12 months and set for the next 20 years inside the lease space of the CTC building. Lowell says establishment of the center at one of the originally proposed sites would have taken much longer and cost more.

"The project was going to take us a good 36 months, and $15.8 million in resources that we were going to bond." Lowell said.

Once the center occupies the leased space, Lowell says he's confident the center will be operational before the holidays and perhaps by late summer or early fall.

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