City’s public safety listening tour ends
Grand Junction City Council members fielded 25 comments in just under an hour Tuesday night during a telephone town hall.
The phone call rang out to landlines in the city and council members asked those who stayed on the line to offer questions and suggestions for how and if the city should fund new public safety facilities. The phone-call meeting was the last leg of the city’s listening tour.
Comment from the calls, five listening tour meetings and two surveys will help council members begin to formulate a plan for the future of public safety facilities at a council retreat in July.
“At this point there is no plan,” Councilman Bruce Hill said at the beginning of the call. “Based on your input tonight, it will help us start to formulate the plan.”
Comments varied from praise for building a new police station in particular to criticism of city budgeting practices. Suggestions for how to pay for new public safety facilities included having a fundraiser, issuing bonds and increasing taxes only if the tax sunsets. As for where to put the facilities, suggestions included moving into an Office Depot building or seeking temporary venues around town.
Council members often kept responses short throughout the call, but did clarify a few points when prompted, such as the ownership of former City Market offices at 105 W. Colorado Ave., which were recently purchased by Mesa County and not the city, and that the Downtown Development Authority, not the city, has paid for the bulk of Main Street and Colorado Avenue redevelopment.
Most commenters stayed on topic, although a few diverged from the topic at hand, such as a woman that asked a question about why her homeowners association wouldn’t allow her to have a business in her home.
The meeting included polling, which asked participants to dial one if they agreed with a statement or press two if they disagreed. Questions included whether callers wanted the city to take a “modest” approach to new public safety buildings (89 percent agreed) and whether Grand Junction should see how other cities dealt with similar issues and have professionals draft and manage plans instead of the public (75 agreed).