Momentum builds for Central Oregon Emergency Coordination, training center in Redmond

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The recent signing of a memorandum of understanding brought the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and multi-agency partners closer to funding Phase 1 of the CORE3 Project, which will provide local communities and to the state of Oregon with a dedicated emergency coordination center and an integrated public safety training center campus on a site adjacent to Redmond Airport.

Here is the rest of an update from COIC’s Wednesday press release:

Project CORE3 will include all high priority training needs and equipment to ensure critical law enforcement, fire/EMS and other emergency and preparedness needs are met, and will also offer a Turnkey command center in the event of a public health crisis or a major regional, national or larger-scale disaster.

In response to requests from regional public safety agencies, CJOC convened a diverse, multi-agency leadership team comprised of 25 regional and state public safety agencies to plan the proposed facility, which has a scope of $41 million. for Phase 1 (including full Emergency Coordination Center Building/Classroom and a variety of high priority emergency training facilities).

Due to the significance of the statewide proposal and the broad and diverse commitments of regional and state stakeholders, Rep. Jack Zika successfully incorporated $9.5 million in public funding for CORE3 during of the 2022 legislative session in Oregon.

“I am pleased that at the end of the 2022 legislative session, I was able to help secure $9.5 million in funding for the Regional Public Safety and Training Center right here in Redmond,” said Zika. “This critical infrastructure is vital in the event of a Cascadia event and illustrates that by working together, we can find solutions that meet the needs of Oregonians as a whole.”

Additionally, thanks to Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley, the recently approved federal appropriations bill included $750,000 in congressional-directed spending (formerly called “appropriations”) for CORE3.

“Keeping Oregon communities safe is a worthwhile investment in our state’s future,” Wyden said. “I am pleased to see that these federal funds will be used to achieve key resilience and emergency preparedness goals in central Oregon. I will continue to fight for resources so the people of central Oregon can continue to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters.

“Oregon’s first responders are essential to keeping our communities safe in the face of ever-changing challenges,” said Sen. Merkley, who is a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee that drafted this bill. “I am proud to have secured funding for the CORE3 Project in Redmond, which will make the region and Oregon safer by providing important training and resources to help dedicated Central Oregon emergency responders to keep us safe.”

At their March 2 meeting, the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners agreed to dedicate 300 acres of land to the facility, with an estimated value of $16.3 million.

“I am committed to supporting public safety and the needs of our communities to be prepared for any major threat to life and property,” Commissioner Tony DeBone said. “The entire Board of County Commissioners has joined me in dedicating 300 acres of county land to this effort. CORE3 will help our local first responders with training, Deschutes County, the region and the state to respond to and recover from major natural disasters or other events.Together, these investments represent approximately $27 million of the $41 million price tag for the first phase of CORE3.

CJOC is working with project partners to seek other funding opportunities for the remainder of Phase 1, in addition to Phases 2 and 3 of the project. The complete construction of CORE3 is estimated at approximately $116 million over the next 30 to 50 years.

“This project highlights CJOC’s role in the region of bringing together partners, identifying funding, and managing a complex, multi-jurisdictional project that benefits all of Oregon. Emergency preparedness and response is important to the health and safety of our communities and we are grateful to our partners for supporting this initiative,” said CJOC Chief Executive Officer Tammy Baney.

More information about the CORE3 project can be found on the CJOC website at https://www.coic.org/core3/

Milton S. Rodgers