City bond request for police facility won't go to voters until 2021
Plans to approach voters with a bond measure to build a new police facility isn't expected to happen until sometime in 2021, the Tigard City Council agreed on Tuesday night.
For several months, the council has talked about the possibility of going out for both a bond measure and public safety levy in 2020.
However, city staff has said it would be better to wait until later to build the station, whose cost would be an estimated $40 million, to construct a new facility to build a 52,000-square-foot police facility that would include underground parking, an emergency operations center and information technology infrastructure.
The current police facility is plagued by numerous physical issues including consistent leaking during rainstorms.
A staff report states that taking more time to educate voters and getting feedback from the public would aid in the success of the measure.
In addition, there are still questions about where the facility would be built.
While initial talk has centered on using the current Tigard City Hall campus site, the exact location of a Hall Boulevard station for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project has raised concerns.
While TriMet has announced plans to build a light rail station in the general area of where Archers Precision is now located on Hall Boulevard, a final decision hasn't been made and city officials don't want to move forward with any type of formal plans until it's determine the City Hall property isn't needed for that station, Nadine Robinson, central services director, told the council Tuesday. (A decision on that exact route isn't expected until after a meeting of the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project Steering Committee in the fall.)
Other possible police station sites include property where the Tigard Public Works Department is located at on Burnham Street or possibly another piece of property altogether, Robinson said.
A staff report states that the bond for the library expires in 2022 and that a significant portion of the police facility could be finance through replacing that bond.
In addition, the city believes that fines from a future photo red light enforcement program could be used for paying debt service to help fund the proposed police facility. There will be five regular elections between May 2020 and May 2022.
Metro is expected to place a regional transportation bond before voters in November 2020, a portion of which will ask for some funding for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project.
Mayor Jason Snider and other councilors agreed holding off on the bond might be the most prudent way to go but Snider said he wants to make sure the city doesn't "take the gas off the pedal" as far as the need for such a police facility.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)