SLO County breaks ground on new dispatch center in Templeton

October 9, 2023


With multiple public officials attending, San Luis Obispo County broke ground on a new joint dispatch facility to be located in Templeton during a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.

The 17,000-square-foot facility is slated to house both the SLO County Sheriff’s Office and Cal Fire dispatch operations. Currently, the agencies operate in separate, antiquated and overcrowded dispatch centers. The new facility will allow for centralized dispatch functions and streamlined communications during emergencies.

Estimated to cost $39 million, the project is located next to the sheriff’s sub-station off Main Street in Templeton.

The new facility is expected to be completed in 2025.

Project features and benefits:

  • Faster and better coordinated 911 and emergency response for a safer community.
  • Better able to manage and communicate with emergency personnel during major fire events, earthquakes, flooding or other natural disasters.
  • Co-locating dispatching services saves on operational and maintenance costs in lieu of two separate 24-hour facilities for fire and law enforcement.
  • Ability to add dispatching capacity and staff as service levels grow.


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Because the building is designed for public safety, it is required to be built to the Essential Services Buildings Seismic Safety Act (ESBSSA) established in 1986. The building must be capable of providing those services to the public after a disaster. and with all do respect, a double wide is likely not going to cut it.

That is NOT the reason public buildings cost between 150% and 200% of what they should, and it appears that you should know this being that you are aware of the essential service requirements for this building. There are two primary reasons for the excessive costs of public buildings. 1) labor costs are artificially inflated and the reporting of same made overly complex by by the government itself resulting in about 50% excess cost, and 2) mistakes, omissions, changes of mind, etc. and sometimes intentional acts (sometimes even illegal intentional acts) by the County construction oversight administrators during construction (as described by matthwy58 below) resulting in 20% to 100% (or more) excess cost.

Lol The emergency dispatch center in slo was built 15 feet from one of the largest high pressure gas pipelines in the county. Everyone knew, it’s on the maps and you can see the markers, 17″ if I remember correctly.

providing those services to the public after a disaster.” as long as it’s not a earthquake.

After reading all the comments, my suggestion is to privatize County Fire, Sheriff, and 911 dispatch. This would be a good starting point in controlling the skyrocketing cost of public safety. I see no good reason for dispatchers to be public employees.

I bet private sector could provide the same level of service at one third of the cost and require one tenth of the square footage to do it.

Now that we’ve ensured the county public employees pension fund is well-funded, we can go back to pouring money into expensive new buildings for Parkinson’s county mounties.

Oh… wait…

The estimated cost is $2,294 per Sq. Ft. Huh?

According to the numbers in the article, you are correct. I know this building probably has a lot of high tech electronics and stuff in it, but this is an absurd unit cost for any building.

For all the wet blankets out there, I will explain using more, smaller words. Of course the government doesn’t actually construct anything. They have enough trouble getting their collective shoes tied, much less drive a nail or something complex like that. The government causes things to be built for them by the private sector. When they do so, the cost is at least 50% over what the same building would cost if a private property owner hired the private sector to build the same building.


This is not counting the 20% plus cost overrun described by matthwy58 below. That is why a building which should cost something less than $30M will actually cost the county $60M before they are done.

“Estimated to cost $39 million” what ever happened to developing plans, having several companies submit bids, deciding on the best bid and holding that compnay to their bid and timetable, that’s right this is a government job, funded by the bottomless pit of taxpayer money, where the real money is made with cost overruns, plan changes and where a company is not held to the original bid.

More like $50M or more before it is done. Would have cost 40% less if done by the private sector. Government just can’t get out of its own way.

I hate to be the wet blanket, but the private sector is doing the construction – SLO county governments don’t build much, but they contract with private companies a lot.

Wow, ONLY $39,000,000 ! OMG!

Thats just an estimate, county projects always come in 40- 100 percent over budget.