Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Throws Support for Public Safety Facility

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Today the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce announced its support for a public safety facility. However, the Chamber does have some concerns about the proposed sales tax increase for the project.

The city of Grand Junction and the Chamber of Commerce both agree the area needs a public safety complex. The 98 million dollar complex would provide seven new buildings related to public safety. What they don't agree on is if the city should stay deBruced after the projects are paid for.

Grand Junction Mayor Greg Palmer says, "we think it makes more sense to use money that's raised in the community for community projects they would like to have it strictly for payment of the public safety initiative once the parkway is paid for."
Diane Schwenke with the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce says its important voters have alternatives.

"We want to make sure that we are not exceeding the tabor limit indefinitely," says Schwenke. "Once the riverside parkway is paid for and once the public facilities are paid for that voters will then have an opportunity to revisit that tabor question."
The city's initial proposal is to have the voters decide by putting the quarter cent sales tax on the ballot. They would also propose a permanent deBrucing which would cancel the quarter percent sales tax after the project is paid off. The Chamber's concern is if voters decide against deBrucing but for the tax increase the city could see the quarter cent sales tax become permanent. The city council has not yet approved the language for the ballot.
Schwenke says, "the board is concerned when we look at the funding that it is very specific and that it is tied to a certain time limit as well."
Both the city and the Chamber say they share a good relationship and once language is approved the city council is expected to continue their campaign for the bills support.

Mayor Palmer says the city residents would only be paying for 18 percent of the new public safety complex costing the average household three dollars and 20 cents a month.

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