Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners Workshop
to Discuss Federal and State Grant Awards and Potential Awards
to Gadsden County for Public Safety Facilities 

June 27, 2022 - 4:00 PM

Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

  Chair Green welcomed everyone to the workshop. Invocation done by Chair Green. He then led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance of the U.S. Flag.

Citizens Requesting to be Heard on Non-Agenda Items (3-minute limit)

Anyone wishing to speak on agenda items or non-agenda items should schedule or notify the County Administrator's Office before attending the meeting and will be asked to follow the Gadsden County Public Meetings Citizens Access Guidelines. Also, Public comment for Commission meetings can be submitted via email to until noon on June 27, 2022. Comments submitted after the deadline, but prior to the meeting, will be added to the official record, but the County cannot guarantee that Commissioners and staff will have adequate time to review comments prior to the meeting.


  Commissioner Hinson read the above statement.


General Business



Discussion of Federal and State Grant Awards and Potential Awards to Gadsden County for Public Safety Facilities 

  Mr. Dixon started with the presentation. He stated they were given grants over the past couple of months. They will be accepting the grants and the process. The EOC grant for a total of $10 million. What were in essence 3 very different grants, sought to collectively put them in a single location. The Sheriff and his team and others reach out. Had a couple of meetings with the departments.


Holt walked in at 4:10pm.


Mr. Dixon stated how they can maintain it and improve it. He said hopefully they can build them in a way to make them able and capable of having great foundations for the future.


Have 6 grants, Tashonda Whaley from EM. Sherrie Keeler from Integrity. Steve Winn Sheriff Dept. Eng, Justin Ford, Architect Joe Sampson. Have had a weekly meeting to discuss all the grants to manage them the best way they can and be efficient. Efficiently began how can they co-locate the facilities. Been looking high and low for locations. Have come across the cities industrial part. Hundreds of acres, most part is flat. Can locate a number of facilities there.


  Mr. Dixon want to look at what they are doing in terms of locations. Understands it is a workshop, but to be in full awareness of what is being done in their name in terms of development of the locations. 

Within the $10 million the county has been allotted, have built a sheriff’s dept within. With EMS, were granted funds to be located at the HD. If the funders agreed that these things can happen. In terms of maintenance, with buildings that are co-located.

  He referred to the plan that was passed out.  No engineers or architect have been accomplished yet. Need to start running to draw and design what will happen. Some locations are not available. Working with the city would have a cost as well.


  Mr. Dixon walked through the grants. The first grant is the CDBG grant for $2.5. Not where it belongs.


Commissioner V stepped out at 4:19 p.m.


Have asked them if it is possible. Not only can get more building but better space. This is the fastest moving grant. In play right now. Not long ago gave contract to integrity to manage part of this grant. Moving quickly with this grant.


Second grant is the hurricane safe room. Grant is to design a hurricane saferoom. Doesn’t know if they are rehabilitating or building a new one. It is $4.9 million.


In addition, have received the $10 million grant. Page 5 of 15, the state legislature grant. Quickly realized they cannot do it on the property currently on, no space, no water. Requires more time to prep the spaces than the grant allotted time. The properties they have put forward meet the needs and allows to design and build a location that is functional. Looking at how to make the dollars go further and do more.


They were just asked and his understanding that the board doesn’t want to give back any money. To harden the hallways of the hospital. To retrofit it as a special needs shelter, brings retrofit dollars. The opportunity allows to get a jump start. Opportunity for a generator, doors, windows. For 460,000 is a lot of money. The state and others were kind in conversations and said to start the job. Believes they need to start the work and take in as much opportunity as they can. Facilities can be used as something else when they are not being used as shelters.


   He said they requested that this month, a few days ago. Explained the drawing design of the COVID shelter. Legislative season is upon us again. Met with Quincy and who got money, when Quincy gets ready, ready to get out and help. Quincy got about $3,000?


The things about the saferoom, it has to be one big room. It must immediately go into being what it needs to be. Have to design the purpose and functionality of these buildings when they are not shelters. On page 11 of 15 the design if emergency operations center.  These are initial designs as shovel ready programs.


On page 12 of 15 is a second story. This is a potential sheriff’s office. One of things talking about is totally consolidating dispatch. Have got to talk to each other after what happened in Uvalde. Some cities have their own dispatch center. Want the call to go to the center then to the cop. Have to make sure they are getting the hint.


Nesmith returned at 4:33 p.m.


The next page is the hospitals floor plan. How to improve it now not tomorrow. He firmly believes that it is a beginning and not an ending. If it is out there, will do their best to get it.


The $1.7 million for the cafeteria. That was approved in 2021. Working with DEO. Staffing up to make these things happen. Been advised they need a construction manager and engineers as the Board requested. Will bring the best people to the table in an effective amount of time.


   Green stated have been given an overview. His first question, what is the time frame to select a site for the facility. Mr. Dixon said they are in that zone now and don’t have a date now. Engineers and architects can only draw based on the dirt they can see. Green asked have the convo. Been started about Joe Adams site. Mr. Dixon said based on the feedback, will be on the agenda tomorrow night if things are positive.  


  Commissioner V asked why they keep referring to the shelter as COVID shelter, change to infections disease shelter. There are other diseases that will come, COVID will not last forever. It is a recommendation. The rendering of the sheriff’s complex, didn’t understand it. How much was the sheriffs input? Mr. Dixon said the sheriff has been very active in the design. He will check to make sure it is not a part of the grant. Trying to keep the clarity.


  Commissioner Hinson said it is the first he sees it. $1.7 million needs to do more research. Wasn’t for just the building but for the entire space. He would like to take a tour so when he gives information to the people it will be accurate. How many buildings? He said it would be great. Would like to know how much land they own for tourist grants. Refurbishing the river off of iron bridge rd. Would be a good tool to bring people to Gadsden County. Putting millions of dollars into parks. Mr. Dixon said he had staff compile. It is years of compiling properties. Yes, could have some shining stars. Commissioner Hinson would like more parks. City of Midway is 10 minutes from the airport. May need a center for others to come and be a part of. Thought of a civic center, like in Atlanta.


  Commissioner V said the touring of the sites, has had the opportunity to tour it. They have more developed property than he imagined. As a nice gesture, something he can arrange a tour for the commissioners.  He was amazed at what they have.


  Green said he was also going to ask for a tour to see in reality what they have.


  Nesmith wanted to make sure he followed the grant. The CDBG grant, that building was damaged? Mr. Dixon said the building EMS was in was damaged. They moved into the HD. Hopefully they will go into a new building. Nesmith asked if the $2.5 million was to renovate the building. Dixon- Asking to build a new building. Have a potential location on the map.  A conversation has to be had. The $4.9 million dollars for the construction for the Stevens school. The Emergency operations center, another building on property owned by Quincy? Proposed by Quincy. Dixon- because of limited space, if change locations would remain?


  Hinson said the City of Quincy not using property, can they purchase? Green said depends on the conversation. Nesmith asked about the center, would house jail? Dixon said no, proposed to be housed at the jail. Green said the reason for larger space, because when designed, was hoping for more space.


  Holt said on the first grant, possibly discussing having the EMS moved where? Dixon- Joe Adams rd. Holt- Drive time increasing? Dixon- no, where they are located is not about the drive time. 2 min drive from there to the hospital. Gives them the opportunity to have a nice facility. Holt- not speaking against it.


Commissioner Nesmith stepped out at 4:56 p.m.  


Holt said nothing wrong with it. Have tendency to be around the hospital. It may be a good idea, not debating it. Hopefully looking at getting a new building. Dixon- with any location. Holt- for the shelter, leaving it the same with COVID so they can use the money. When COVID is over can be used for other things. That would be to convert back and forth. The drawings were to be a restaurant then you could move beds in case of Hurricane. Didn’t have enough money to retrofit the building. On the $4.9 million sold to congress to be a new building. Dixon- as a point of privilege, have state dept. online. He asked chairman, if he would like for them to chime in.


  Cory said an update on pre-disaster mitigation project. DEM submitted application and worked with the County for saferoom. The project still needs to meet FEMA criteria.  Submitted application to FEMA. FEMA prefers to do retrofits. Laura Deway said they have made it pass the first hurdle to submit app for safe room. Waiting to hear back, will be working in close partnership with county to help. Going in the right direction, hopeful project will get to where it needs to be.


  Holt said on the $200,000.00 on Pat Thomas, which one? Dixon- EOC and Sheriff’s office.

Dixon said Mr. Ford did this over the weekend. Holt said she wants to make sure she’s in line. Want buildings by road not in the woods. Keeps from having to go through complex in case of emergency. Dixon said it was designed multiple way. City of Quincy has to build a new public works facility, ours is in sad shape. Not having any COVID situations now, but have a small room outdated. Holt likes the idea of them being next to each other. How close is it to the community? Dixon- said there are trees all along from the facility. The bypass was designed to come that way. Holt said would be good to talk to the community out there. They will be wondering what is going on. She said it is not a bad layout. Justin said the property has a little topography, maybe a little bit of grading. It drains south. Big green area is a conservation area. Won’t impact any homes. Holt- can $200,000 be used for any other design? Dixon- no, emergency operations only. State agencies have been very generous. Holt- for the hospital, it looks awful, only looking at a section. Dixon said it is just the hardening. Holt asked when they will get a project manager. Dixon said as soon as they can. Just passed procurement policy. Holt said if they pay people, they will get people. Will need to adv. For positions. Dixon said the procurement policy allows them to bring in multiple vendors.


  Jody McCormick with DEO has been listening and said how GR funding would be essential. Benefits being restricted.


Chair Green stepped out at 5:16 p.m.


The map would be a separation. Would have to look into the purchasing of the property. There would be an assessment. $10 mil could be used. Potentially better idea to look at using County funds to purchase property to put facility there. It would require an amendment. He can work with Mr. Dixon to put the terms and tasks to best fit their needs.  


  Holt asked if EMS dollars cannot be used for anything else. 25% match may be able to use for purchase. Jody said he doesn’t see how it would be an issue. Holt said they could use County funds. Dixons said there’s no match for the EOC. Holt said they have to look at finding the funds of that property. She thinks the layout is pretty good. Every year will have a county owned property that is…


     Commissioner V said since they can’t use 10 mill, can go to MOU with city of Quincy? Getting competent staff of employee, the amount of money.. Have a good person running EMS. Make that person from interim to permanent.


  Hinson said with the growth in Midway, merging public works with Midway? So many entities in Midway. Since Midway is the old Quincy, a lot of people moved to Midway. With the 10-90, a lot of people realized Gadsden County has a lot of opportunities. If they partner with Midway, they can help the people there.


  Green said it is something that can be looked into. Nesmith asked how much land they own. Dixon said none. Just a piece behind the Armory. Nesmith said everything else is owned by Quincy? Dixon said yes. Green asked if agencies online would like to speak. There were none.


  Hinson said there was idea of youth complex in Midway. People were wiling to sell. The majority of growth in Gadsden County is Quincy, Midway… Have the land of people willing to sell. A great chance a bank will be in Midway. Have to have infrastructure.


  Commissioner V commended the administrator and staff.


Nesmith stepped out at 5:30.


Tomorrow is the meeting with the city, suggests they all join the Administrator tomorrow so that they know they are willing to go into this project with them for the good of Gadsden County.


  Green wanted clarity. Sit in person? V said is, calls it visibility. Green said it is a great recommendation. They will be attending the FACT conference. V said he will be there in person.


  Holt said the build out dates for emergency management in 2022. The other closest will be EMS and the hospital in 25 and 27 on the public safety complex. Put ASAP on that. Wanted to make sure about the deadlines. May need to go back to funding. Dixon said we want to be the county that closes and finished. Holt said she is pushing for a veteran’s center.


Motion to Adjourn

   Adjourned at 5:35 p.m.







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