SADIEVILLE — Georgetown/Scott County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Office of Homeland Security (OHS) will be moving its satellite office to Sadieville this summer.
The new satellite office is expected to be fully operational by July 1 and will replace the current one located in the Scott County Court House at 101 East Main Street. It will be located in the basement of Sadieville City Hall located at 605 Pike Street. The main office will remain located at 2200 Cincinnati Pike.
The office will concentrate on protecting the northern part of Scott County, said Director of Georgetown/Scott County EMA/OHS Mike Hennigan.
“It’s going to be our satellite emergency operations center,” he said. “Basically, we’re going to staff it intermittently based on need. If we have severe weather or other reasons, we would be concentrating on northern Scott County as well as our main office in Georgetown.”
In addition to severe weather, Hennigan said the new office may be used for major interstate situations involving tractor trailers or hazardous materials in the northern part of the county.
But it was Mayor Robert Wagoner who initially proposed the idea after he began feeling concerned about the safety of Sadieville residents.
“At that time, there was so much political unrest and everything in the country,” he said. “I thought, ‘you know what, I’m 60-something years old’ and at night back then I would lay down with uneasiness. I’m not afraid to say this, I have a gun beside my bed and I will use it. So, I thought, if we got into a situation it would be good to have emergency people who could handle those things and know to how at least organize them for our community.”
This uneasiness combined with a fear of severe weather isolating the city was what initially caused Wagoner to reach out and offer the basement of City Hall as a location. Although Sadieville does have a two-man police force and a fire department, Wagoner said the decision was to improve on the city’s safety.
“My biggest concern is to have a resource for the community that you may never use but it will be here,” he said. “It’s being able to know that the other comfort layer of protection is here for the community and oversight. Praise be you have biowarfare or something goes off, we’ll have our own little brain area down here that’s working for the whole county, but they’re here in Sadieville and that resource is here.”
Still, Wagoner said he hopes the facilities act strictly as a precautionary measure.
“I’m not expecting anything big out of them, and 90 percent of the people will never see them probably,” he said. “However, the one time you need to see them and the one time you need them, they’re here, and you’re thankful they’re here.”
This was concurred by Hennigan, who added that the satellite office would “not be staffed 100 percent of the time” but that they are “hoping to be there as often as possible.”
The current satellite office in the Scott County Court House just wasn’t cutting it. Hennigan said it was too crowded and being used by the county for excess file storage, so his office was happy to jump at the chance to procure new office space.
In the meantime, the office is still in the process of being set up.
“We already have the keys to the facility, so if needed we could open it almost immediately,” Hennigan said. “We’ve got a couple of desks and minimal equipment. Basically, all of our stuff would be grab-and-go from our main facility.”
Originally, the basement in the City Hall building was going to be converted into a type of storm shelter, said Hennigan. However, once Wagoner realized an official satellite office could widen the city’s ability to procure grants, they decided to alter their plans.
The new facility has its perks for EMA/OHS as well. Hennigan said the new office allows for more opportunities separate from the main office to increase efficiency.
“We’re hoping to shorten response times and provide better coverage for the northern half of Scott County,” he said. “Perhaps increase training capability and having meetings up there and all kinds of things we want to do separate from our main office.”
The city did not have to kick in much of its own funds for this office to be utilized, Wagoner said. The city only covered a wall-mounted TV, a basic DirectTV cable package and the fiberoptic internet through AT&T, which was implemented last year in the city.
The satellite office will remain in the Scott County Court House on Main Street until July 1, when the move becomes official.
Kyle Woosley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.