By Deb Smith
Centennial home to new State Emergency Operations Center
Centennial is now the home of Colorado’s new Multi Agency Coordination Center, a state-of-the-art emergency operations facility designed to create a single location and point of entry for federal, state and local agencies supporting homeland security efforts.
The new 24-hour command center, built with $2.7 million in homeland security grants, boasts more than 2,400 square feet and can house up to 56 workstations for federal, state and local partners—and can even double as the state capitol in the event of an emergency.
“There is no higher priority than ensuring the safety of our citizens, the continuity of government and the preservation of our way of life,” said Colorado Governor Bill Owens, who was on hand to officiate the grand opening ceremony. “With the opening of this center, we’re taking an important step forward to meet that priority. Whatever the emergency, future governors and future leaders in Colorado will be able to efficiently and effectively coordinate the appropriate response from this facility.”
The MACC is also home to Colorado’s new State Emergency Operations Center, along with administrative offices for the Division of Emergency Management. Both were previously located at Camp George West in Golden. Built back in the 1960s, the aging structure lacked the capacity to keep up with growing homeland security needs, as well as advancing technologies.
Camp George West will be retained as a back-up location. Co-located in with Denver’s South Metro Fire Rescue District in an office park near Yosemite and Mineral, the MACC has the ability to access a statewide emergency digital radio system through South Metro’s 911 center.
Designed specifically to meet the new National Incident Management System requirements, the MACC contains a secure video conferencing room, a special media briefing area, and a protective Mylar film on the windows and special blast-proof window shades to shield occupants from shattered glass in the event of a blast.
And to enhance the state’s information sharing ability, the MACC is also home to the Colorado Information Analysis Center, a specialized information sharing network that collects, analyzes and disseminates information across the state to law enforcement, first responder and associated agencies who may benefit.
The CIAC will be staffed 24 hours a day by a combination of sworn law enforcement, military and civilian personnel.
“This new facility is the result of partnerships forged at every level of government—from first responders, to state and local elected officials, to FEMA—making this center a model of coordination,” said Mike Beasley, executive director, Department of Local Affairs, whose Division of Emergency Management provides oversight and staffing for the new operation.
Centennial Mayor Randy Pye was among the dignitaries who spoke at the event.
“Unlike the new Wal-Mart I opened here in Centennial a few weeks ago, this is one place I hope I don’t have to visit quite as often,” he joked.
Centennial municipal election calendar now available online
Elections will be held in November 2005 for the mayor’s seat, one council seat in each of Centennial’s four wards, treasurer and city clerk. Mayor and council serve four-year terms. Treasurer and city clerk serve two-year terms.
Individuals interested in running for municipal office in Centennial, or wanting to follow the election events, can now download the municipal election calendar from the deputy city clerk. It contains all filing deadlines for this November’s elections. You can find the calendar in portable document file format at [http://www.centennialcolorado.com/docs/cityGovernment/2005_Election_Calendar.pdf].
Upcoming Ward/Town Meetings
May’s Town Meeting will be held Thursday, May 12 at 6 p.m., in the City Council Chamber, 12503 E. Elucid Drive, in Centennial.
Ward II will host its next town meeting on Sunday, May 22, at 3 p.m. at the Koelbel Library located on 5955 Holly Street in Centennial.
The Centennial city offices will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
The Centennial City Council holds its regular meetings, at which public comment is heard, on the first and third Mondays at 7:00 p.m., at the city offices, 12503 E. Euclid Drive, Suite 200. For more information, visit [http://www.centennialcolorado.com] or call (303) 734-4567.