Police station, dispatch center in first phase of safety plan

Grand Junction city staff unveiled preliminary, pared-down public safety construction proposals to council members Monday during a workshop.

The first phase of a revamped public safety plan may include a free-standing police station either combined with an emergency dispatch center, or a dispatch center incorporated into a remodel of an existing city building.

Amenities that wouldn’t be included in the first phase include neighborhood fire stations, evidence storage, courtroom space, parking space and operating costs.

Those facilities and services were posed under a 2008 proposal and included in the city’s 10-year plan to improve public safety infrastructure.

Council members pushed the 10-year plan to 20 years, and proposals are on the table to build the highest-priority facilities now and plan for the rest later.

Funding for the $30 million price tag for the first phase could be obtained by issuing bonds.

Monies to pay the bonds would be available in 2012 after completion of the 29 Road viaduct. User fees for 911 services could contribute $500,000 to $1 million and the city could contribute $1 million to $1.5 million.

Other funding options could include taking the issue to voters, private funding or using excess dollars from TABOR, the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.

For now, council members directed staff to fine-tune the proposals for a council vote in September.

Voters denied a tax increase two years ago for a $98 million complex to house police, fire and courtroom buildings.

Since the 2008 question, city staff have been culling information from the public who have made their requests clear:

Keep it simple, build in phases, use existing city buildings when possible, no new taxes and focus on housing police and 911 communications.


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