Bolden then presented information on the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) grant award program, which allows the public and private sectors to fulfill needs in infrastructure construction, improvement, and management in areas surrounding military installations. Bolden noted that Congress had increased the program to nearly $100M in FY23, a 33 percent increase, and offered to assist the group up until the submission deadline with evaluating a project’s merits for this program.
Understanding the county’s need for a well-funded, multi-agency operations center during emergencies, Chairman Ellis welcomed the opportunity to explore further funding for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport. Following the Coastal Georgia Military Affairs Coalition’s visit to Washington, Chairman Ellis convened a meeting while Mr. Bolden visited Savannah to discuss potential funding sources for the new EOC. This project was approved by voters in the 2019 SPLOST referendum. Since that time, other partners have joined in the planning, use, and costs of the project. The new center, which will be built on some of the highest properties in the County to withstand Category 5 hurricane winds, will house not only the County’s emergency management functions but also the first responders working for the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport.
The County is actively seeking partnerships and funding opportunities to keep the project on its proposed timeline which would have the structure completed in 2024 and operational for the 2025 hurricane season.