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Horry County eyes $667,000 for new mobile command center

Searchers continue to work throughout the Hidden Lakes neighborhood in Little River in late 2014. Horry County is discussing replacing the old command center model with a new one at a cost of $667,000.
Searchers continue to work throughout the Hidden Lakes neighborhood in Little River in late 2014. Horry County is discussing replacing the old command center model with a new one at a cost of $667,000. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

Horry County is looking to spend up to $667,000 for a new mobile command center used by law enforcement to replace an older model that was acquired 16 years ago.

County officials say they won’t know the exact price tag until bids are received Thursday. Financing for the command unit would come from several county funds, including $300,000 from the general fund, $200,000 from the body camera fund, $50,000 from the Juniper Bay fire station project, $60,000 from the emergency 911 fund and a $57,000 grant.

Trying to refurbish the older model command center, a Forest River RV, would be throwing “good money after bad,” said Chris Eldridge, Horry County administrator.

“The current unit has worked well over time, but it’s seen its end,” said Randy Webster, Horry County Emergency Management director.

The mobile unit was used last week during a nine-hour manhunt for bank robbers in North Myrtle Beach, and is also used during emergencies such as forest fires.

The current unit has worked well over time, but it’s seen its end.

Randy Webster, Horry County Emergency Management director

County officials say the current vehicle has extensive water damage, outdated technology and is not equipped to operate through rugged terrain.

“It’s a problem and it will continue to be a problem, but we have the opportunity to address it with something that will be there for years to come that is durable and built for the job,” Webster said.

The new vehicle would not be a mobile home like the current model, but designed specifically to function as a mobile command center for law enforcement, yet officials said it would be shared among all county agencies.

The county council is expected to cast its first vote Tuesday night on whether to approve funding.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson

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