CSgenerator062320A

This is the DeSoto County Administration building at 201 E. Oak St. in Arcadia, where the County Commission meeting is planned for 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. today.

ARCADIA — DeSoto County is working on a grant to buy a new generator for the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office and jail. 

The current generator at the facility is 25 years old − with only a 19-year "useful" lifespan − and broke down during both Hurricane Charley in 2004 and Hurricane Irma in 2017, according to county documents.

County commissioners will consider approving the community development block grant-mitigation application at today's public meeting, taking place at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the County Administration Building, 201 E. Oak St., Arcadia.

The meeting can also be viewed online at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/183435821.

Those wanting to listen in on the meeting can do so by phone, calling 786-535-3211 with access code 183-435-821.

During Hurricane Irma, the county's 911 dispatch and communications system had to be moved to another facility due to lack of power because of the generator's breakdown.

The county also had to consider moving nearly 100 detainees from the jail to another county because of the power failure, but Florida Power & Light was able to restore power after "hours of being in the dark," as stated in the grant application. 

The Sheriff's Office facility houses more than 130 employees with space for up to 160 detainees.

The grant application is being made under the Rebuild Florida Critical Facility Hardening Program, which assists local government and state agencies with strengthening buildings that serve a public safety purpose for local communities.

The project is estimated to cost around $300,000. 

At today's meeting, commissioners also will hear a similar resolution for the purchase of a backup generator for DeSoto Middle School, a building used as a disaster-related shelter.

A cost for the generator and the complete installation was estimated to be around $500,000. 

Timelines for both projects were not available.

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