Department still pursuing previously cut amenities

Grand Junction city officials scaled back big plans for the future of the city’s public safety buildings after voters balked at a measure in 2008 that would have raised sales taxes.

Officials originally touted the $98 million proposal as a way to create a three-story main building to house fire administration, police and 911. A parking garage, municipal courtroom and outlying fire stations were included.

Yet, as Grand Junction police prepare to move into a new 64,000-square-foot facility in the 500 block between Pitkin and Ute Avenues, which is part of a package of improvements with a price tag that’s roughly one-third of the 2008 plan, city leaders are still pursuing some of the amenities cut out in the wake of the vote four years ago.

In a listing of more than 50 capital improvement projects to be considered by Grand Junction city councilors, two requests by the Police Department nearly topped the list. Those include a covered parking structure for patrol vehicles at estimated cost of $112,000.

Expensive computers and equipment inside patrol vehicles are compromised when vehicles are left out in the elements, Police Chief John Camper told councilors.

Councilors agreed through the informal rating process they should invest in an estimated $30,000 study for a police annex. An annex, which would act as a training center for police, was included in the first proposal for the center.

No funds have been dedicated for either project. Costs for an annex haven’t been identified.

“I was pleased, I wasn’t surprised,” Camper said of councilors’ anonymous vote to prioritize the two police projects. “It’s not something that we have to have right away.”


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