GJ unveils public safety proposal tonight

Attention Grand Junction residents: You’ll be paying for it, so you might as well have a say in it.

City officials will have an open house at 6:30 tonight at city hall about new public safety facilities. An hour earlier, at 5:30 p.m., Grand Junction City Council members will have a workshop meeting so they can hear from city staff about the proposal for a new police station, a new 911 emergency center and a new fire station. The public also can attend that meeting.

Voters in 2008 rejected a $98 million measure to increase taxes and build a public safety center.

Council members in September agreed on a less substantial project costing $32 million.

The city, with the help of a financial company, will raise the money through certificates of participation, which are issued to investors as an alternative to bonds. The city will pay back the $32 million plus a return for investors through annual lease payments of $2.2 million and $3.4 million.

Payments would come from a portion of the city’s 2.75 percent sales tax, from $500,000 a year dedicated to the project from 911 fees, and from capital improvement funds that will become available once the 29 Road viaduct is completed.

The scaled-down public safety plan would include a 911 emergency dispatch center with a new police station or add the new 911 facility to city hall. City staff are considering renovating a city building for a new fire station.

The plan does not include neighborhood fire stations, police evidence storage, courtroom space or parking.

The workshop will be shown live on cable Channel 12 and on http://www.gjcity.org.

A link for public comment will be available until 9 p.m. on the city’s website.


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