The Texas County Commission is seeking bids to possibly transform the former county jail and sheriff’s department into space for Texas County’s new 911 system.

The space — which covers 2,640 square feet — has been empty since those office functions were relocated to the Texas County Justice Center on North Grand Avenue in early 2009.

Sealed bids are sought until 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2.

In April, Texas County residents approved a three-eighths of a cent sales tax to operate a 911 emergency dispatch center. The question was put before voters after Wright County decided to pull away from a joint Wright and Texas County 911 project that is housed on the TCMH campus. Revenue had also become a problem as landline telephone numbers dropped as households eliminated them. The sole funding source was a surtax on landlines. The Missouri General Assembly never extended the ability to tax cellular phones, which are now common.

The City of Houston announced last week it would be unable to receive federal approval before an end-of-the-month deadline to use a FEMA shelter at First and Pine streets for the 911 operation.  However, word was received Monday from FEMA that the space could still possibly be used.

The shelter and the former jail and sheriff’s department space are the two sites under consideration by a board appointed by the county commission to oversee the implementation of the project. Members of the panel are set to meet Wednesday to discuss a location.

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