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New public safety complex moving forward

A major project eight years in the making in Susquehanna County finally broke ground.

NEW MILFORD, Pa. — Susquehanna County commissioners and officials gathered in New Milford on Monday to celebrate breaking ground on the site of a new public safety complex, a project that began with planning in 2012.

County officials say it will house offices, including the 911 center, emergency management, and several other county offices.

"(It) houses our magistrate facility, which also could be used for our central court and backup for the main courtroom in Montrose," said Susquehanna County Commissioner Alan Hall.

The 35,000-square-foot complex will provide major updates to the county. Susquehanna County is the last county in the state to make major and necessary upgrades.

"With all the new technology that's going to go into this place, it's long overdue, and it'll be great for the county," said Brad Ellsworth, county director of public safety. "Our current 911 center is in the basement of a garage. Our EOC is basically 46 Tupperware boxes in a closet, so whenever we have an emergency, it takes us two or three hours to set up, if we're lucky."

Susquehanna County officials say the funding for this project won't require county residents to contribute one penny.

"We've been fortunate to save our gas money over the last five years and put that money aside and use it to pay for this project of $15 million."

When this project is complete, several offices will all be under one roof, and conveniently, 500 feet up the road is the state police barracks.

The land that the complex will be on was donated by a local businessman.

"He donated this 15 acres back at no cost to us to take and put this facility so you couldn't ask for a better situation."

Construction on the facility is expected to be complete by April of 2021.