City told to scale down hopes for safety complex



Dump Taj Majal dreams and think vanilla.

That was the message a dozen people told Grand Junction City Council members at Monday’s fourth installment of the city’s public safety facilities listening tour at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

The five meetings on the tour were designed to help the city gather opinions on whether the city needs new police, fire and 911 facilities, what they should look like and how they should be funded.

Kim Cole said the first time she saw the city’s 2008 plan for a public safety complex in downtown Grand Junction, she thought it was “a little extravagant.”

“I think when you start scaling that down, the price will come down,” she said.

Karl Antunes said the city should look for “less aesthetic, less frill, more functionality.”

“Build what you need for the short-term future and add on in 20 years,” he suggested. “You don’t need a shrine.”

Councilman Tom Kenyon said the designs for the public safety complex the city asked voters to pay for on the 2008 ballot looked good, maybe too good for a 52,000-person city.

“Maybe people looked at that and said, ‘Wow, is that Grand Junction?’ ” he said.

As has been the case at all the listening tour stops, council members and city administrators spent a chunk of the meeting filling in blanks for residents.

City Manager Laurie Kadrich said the city is seeking federal grant dollars for help building a new fire station, but she said there aren’t any similar grants for police at this time.

Fire Chief Ken Watkins said the original design for the new fire administration area in the public safety complex would have doubled the space fire administration has, but Watkins said the department eventually plans to go from 16 employees to about 30 employees.

The final stop on the listening tour will take place at 3 p.m. June 3 at Redlands Community Center, 2463 Broadway.


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