MARIETTA — Cobb firefighters will receive a much-needed series of new fire practice structures after county commissioners signed off on a $1.7 million renovation contract for their aging training complex.
Located off County Services Parkway, the contract kicks off phase one of a series of renovations to the 25-plus-year-old training center. In total, the 2022 SPLOST package includes some $17 million for further renovations in the years to come.
Fire Chief Bill Johnson told the MDJ the biggest feature of the first phase will be a five-story burn building where fighters can conduct training exercises.
“We were in desperate need of that,” Johnson said.
The expansion will also add a series of concrete pads where smaller scale operations can be held.
“We may have a dedicated prop that looks like a roof. So rather than being on top of a roof, it's lower to the ground, the firefighters can get on top, and they can practice cutting holes on the roof for ventilation for fires — different types of structures like that,” Johnson added.
Construction of the first phase is expected to take a year to a year and a half. The “classroom” portion of the facility, meanwhile, is currently undergoing renovations as part of the 2016 SPLOST cycle.
In other business Tuesday, the board unanimously approved the appointment of Ioana Bovo-Nicolescu as the new director of Cobb Senior Services. Bovo-Nicolescu takes over from Jatunn Gibson, who was named the county’s support services director (which oversees senior services), and her annual salary will be $116,830.97.
“I thank God for where I am, and for everything that I have,” Bovo-Nicolescu said after her nomination was confirmed. “…As some of you all know, senior services is celebrating 50 years this year … We’ve been part of this community for a long, long time, and we still have a lot of great things to do.”
Rounding out the meeting, the board signed off on the following items:
- A $250,000 settlement with an Uber driver who said she was detained at gunpoint by Cobb police officers under suspicion of driving a prostitute to a Cumberland hotel.
- A postponement of the deadline for county employees to use their paid leave from Sept. 30 to the end of this calendar year.
- A combined expenditure of up to $450,215 for roof and electrical repairs at the Cobb County jail following last month’s flooding and power outages.
- $153,805 for replacement of HVAC equipment at the 100 Cherokee Street county offices.
- $124,640 for a wheelchair-accessible prisoner transport van for the Cobb Sheriff’s office.