Last night, The Troutdale City Council agreed by a 6-1 vote to send a Police Station bond measure to voters in November. The numbers: $4.5 million, about 37 cents per thousand for 20 years. The need: Our police station, formerly an old, small bank branch, is packed to the gills, out of room, and totally inadequate for even today's needs.
If you've ever seen the inside of Troutdale's police station, you wouldn't hesitate to vote yes. First, before going inside, check out the police cars parked outside, in the open, unsecured parking lot. Those police cars have suffered much vandalism over the years. Punctured tires. Long key marks on the sides of the patrol cars. Thousands of dollars in damage that would be eliminated by the secured parking lot of a new police facility.
Let's go inside the police station. The front lobby is barely larger than a freight elevator. Going down the hallway, look at the ceiling, which is pretty close to your head due to HVAC, electric, and phone infrastructure jammed in because there's no room for it anywhere else. Take a look at the office space. Our police staffers are elbow to elbow in tiny offices. There is so little space for records or documentation that much of it is stored offsite, costing the city thousands of dollars a year in storage fees.
Interview rooms, meeting space, or holding facilities? More rooms about the size of a freight elevator car. Yikes!
It's a wonder our police staffers are able to do such a great job with so little space to work with.
The old building that was once a small bank branch and is now our police station is at the end of its useful life. A recent appraisal for the property valued the building itself as virtually worthless. Only the land has some value. Fortunately, the new police facility, pending voter approval, will be constructed on city owned property at SE 2nd & Buxton, where the current City Conference Building (CCB) resides.
There's a decent chance this bond measure will succeed in November. Polling conducted a few months ago indicated that voters would approve the ballot measure by up to 60% when they were asked questions regarding space limitations and the limited useful life of the current police station.
I'll write more about details of the proposed new police facility over the summer.