The Chattahoochee River 911 Authority (ChatComm), the 911 call center for the cities of Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Brookhaven, is located in Sandy Springs, but its backup center is about 12 miles away in Alpharetta.

So, the city of Sandy Springs taking another step in its plan to move the backup center to its City Springs complex, which is only about 1.5 miles from ChatComm.

“Unfortunately, metro-area traffic is not predictable, nor is an emergency. Moving the backup center closer to the primary location reduces possible delays, should there be a need to operate from an alternative location,” Sandy Springs Fire Chief Keith Sanders said in a news release.

At its Jan. 20 meeting, the Sandy Springs City Council voted 6-0 to approve awarding a $198,334.43 contract to Rubio and Son Interiors Inc. to build the backup center, which will be 1,300 square feet. The meeting was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June the city conducted a needs assessment regarding the backup center, and at its June 16 meeting, the council voted 6-0 to approve allocating $150,000 to build the facility as part of the fiscal 2021 budget. Closeness to ChatComm was the main factor in Sandy Springs’ decision to move the backup center.

Deputy City Manager Dave Wells said the city still would need to spend about $50,000 to install furniture and equipment, but it will save about $100,000 on the project, since $350,000 was originally budgeted for it. The remaining $100,000 allocation for the backup center will be approved at a future meeting, city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said.

District 3 Councilman Chris Burnett, who moved for approval of the contract, asked Sanders how many 911 operators could work at the backup center at one time.

“Minimum staffing is seven,” Sanders said.


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