By CHRIS EBERHART
The development of an emergency operations center behind the Harrison Police Station reached another benchmark that brings the design phase another step closer to completion.
During its June 5 meeting, the Town Council approved a resolution to enter into a $17,000 contract with O’Dea, Lynch and Abbattista Consulting Engineers, a Hawthorne-based engineering firm, to create the designs for heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical and other mechanical operations of the emergency operations center, EOC.
The $17,000 contract was already part of the town’s capital budget.
“There’s essentially three phases [in a building process],” Town Engineer Mike Amodeo said. “There’s the design phase, bidding phase, which usually takes a couple of months, and the construction phase. With the addition of the electrical, plumbing and gas, we’re nearing the end of the design phase.”
In March 2013, the council agreed to hire Port Chester-based design firm Sarrazin Architecture to create the EOC’s site plan. Amodeo said designs created by Sarrazin Architecture will be combined with the mechanical designs created by O’Dea, Lynch and Abbattista Consulting Engineers to create a final site plan, which would bring the design phase to a close.
The next step after the site plans are finalized is to put the project out to bid, according to Amodeo.
While Amodeo didn’t have a concrete timeline moving forward, he said, “We are trying to go as fast as we can. We want to wrap this up as soon as possible.”
Amodeo said he wouldn’t have a cost estimate before the designs were completed, but the town received a $275,000 federal grant to create an operations center and then bonded for an additional $94,760.
The EOC facility will be built as an extension of the town’s police department and will serve as a headquarters to coordinate efforts between different departments such as police, fire, DPW and Con Edison during a critical incident in which multiple departments are involved.
Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini said such incidents would include severe storms, accidents and road closures, crime sprees and any time more than one department is needed.
Marraccini used Hurricane Sandy and, more recently, the plane crash near SUNY Purchase on June 14 as examples of when the EOC would be used.
Marraccini said typically an incident command system would be created on site to coordinate the efforts like it was after the plane crashed.
“But that’s not practical in storms like Hurricane Sandy,” Marraccini said. “You can’t set up an onsite incident command system in a storm. The EOC will give us a place to meet and discuss operations…That’s an extreme example, but that’s what it would be used for.”