Prattville strikes a deal on new public safety building
PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The entire Prattville Police Department, the administrative side of the fire department, the Autauga County EMA department and the IT division will soon work under one roof.
The city council approved the move unanimously Tuesday night.
The vacant office building is located on the old Daniel Pratt cotton gin mill property.
The 30,000-square-foot structure used to be the main office for Continental Eagle. We're told the interior is actually in pretty good shape, but renovations will be necessary to bring the property up to code.
Of the four departments, the largest will be the police with more than 80 personnel.
"If we have a disaster and I pray that we don't, but if we do, we'll be together and respond as one," said Police Chief Mark Thompson.
The smallest of the four departments will be Ernie Baggett's three-man EMA team.
"So when there is an event or an event leading up to something, everyone doesn't have to travel from place to place,' said the Autauga County EMA Director.
The city agreed to pay the Historic Prattville Redevelopment Authority, or HPRA, $249,000 a year for 30 years. HPRA owns the property. City leaders say the money will come from the general fund, which is almost the same amount the city is already funding HPRA every year.
Baggett admitted there are critics who have a real problem with how this deal went down.
"You look towards efficiency. How can you operate more efficient and this is one of those needs," Baggett said.
Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie was said to be tied up in meetings all day Wednesday and not available to do an interview.
The city says the goal is to have the four departments moved in by October of this year.
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