Monday, February 19 , 2018, 5:53 am | Fair 48º


Local News

Santa Barbara’s Emergency Dispatch Center Moving to Granada Garage Office Building

The City Council approves another $2 million in funding to get the project under way now to deal with seismic concerns

The Santa Barbara Police Department's dispatch center will be moved to the Granada Garage office building later this year because its current home in the city’s main police station on Figueroa Street is not considered earthquake-safe.

City Council members unanimously approved another $2 million in funding for the project Tuesday afternoon, to pay for modifying the office building and relocating the emergency communication equipment.

The 9-1-1 Call Center, or Combined Communications Center, has dispatchers fielding calls for police, fire and ambulances in the basement of the police building.

Before Santa Barbara's Redevelopment Agency was dissolved, the city had hoped to build an entire new police station for about $50 million.

There’s no funding source for the project now, but the station does eventually need to be replaced, said Joshua Haggmark, the principal civil engineer for the city, who is now acting water resources manager.

Since the call center would have to move eventually during construction, it’s being moved now to deal with seismic concerns and to get it into a safe working space, he said.

Dispatchers will share the second-floor space with the environmental services department once construction is finished around August.

It will be more spacious than the basement and have two extra work stations, which are needed for busy times such as the Fourth of July and Fiesta, Haggmark said.

The Granada Garage office building is one of the newer city buildings, and was picked for its location near the police station, access to the fiber-optic communication network, backup generator and nearby parking, but it can’t be a permanent home for the dispatch center.

It meets “life safety” standards, so it will survive an earthquake and protect people inside, but doesn’t meet the higher standards for emergency communications facilities, Haggmark said.

Unspent RDA money will be used to fund the project, now that the city has convinced the state Department of Finance to let Santa Barbara keep it. The total move will cost about $2.3 million.

“I think it is going to make the people of this city safer,” Councilman Bendy White said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >