City wants in on discussion of public safety
The city of Grand Junction wants to work with Mesa County before county leaders attempt to place a public safety sales-tax measure on the November ballot.
The Grand Junction City Council talked about the future of all potential November ballot measures during a workshop Monday night.
The city had been working on a potential, countywide ballot measure to generate more money for the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center, but they are concerned about talk of a separate, public safety tax proposal spearheaded by Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis.
McInnis has said he is working on a November ballot measure proposal to fund only the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office.
Councilors on Monday night said they hadn’t seen the wording of McInnis’ measure, and they were concerned Grand Junction public safety entities would not benefit from a potential tax measure.
“I want to see public safety improvements and we can’t do it without some money,” Councilor Phyllis Norris said.
Municipalities and entities that use the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center pay annual fees for emergency communication services, but those costs are increasing, putting the pinch on local governments. Board members of the dispatch center released a report last year that showed operating costs will nearly double to $7 million by 2022. Those costs include funding an additional 21 staff members that are needed by 2019, according to the report.
Councilors talked about creating a question for the November ballot, but it would have to be certified by the county. If commissioners refused to certify a measure from the city, the city would have to wait to try again until a future November election or the April 2019 municipal election to ask voters to pass a public safety measure, City Attorney John Shaver said.