Not Right Now: Public Safety Complex Not on November Ballot

By: Joe Gagnon Email
By: Joe Gagnon Email

Some call it expensive, others call it confusing and Grand Junction City Council voted last night not to put a sales tax increase to build a new public safety complex on November's ballot, but a study says nearly all city residents agree a new public safety building is much needed.
First, 11 News took an inside look at the current crumbling facility, and Kate Porras from the Police Department gave us the grand tour.
Within a couple of minutes, we realized the word "grand" probably doesn't fit.
The need for a complex goes beyond it's crumbling construction says Porras, it's public safety.
For example, a girl scout troup was on a tour of the facility and they came face to face with someone being arrested as a sexual predator.
In another incident, because so many officials use the lobby of the station and constantly pass through to go from one place to another,
undercover officers blew their cover when they saw the people they were investigating in the lobby.
They were then reassigned.
So why did the public vote against the PSI in last November's ballot?
Why did City Cuncil decide to keep it off the next ballot?
Because the city may not be ready for it financially, and there may not be enough time for Grand Junction to sell the need to taxpayers when November's ballot rolls around.
Teri Cavanaugh from Cobb and Associates performed an independent study and found voters confused the language of the ballot question.
They also wondered why other improvement projects seemed to have a higher priority to the city, which is not the case.
The company learned in the study, "The comment was made several times that the city should have put PSI ahead of the improvements on Colorado Avenue and 7th [Street] but those aren't funded by city dollars," says Cavanaugh, "Those are funded by downtown taxpayers."
As the police department continues to work out of trailers, storing important things where they certainly shouldn't be, City Council works on how exactly they can get a new place for police to call home.

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