REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s Police Chief says there is no “plan B” if a $40 million bond does not get voter approval next week. Chief Devin Lewis tells KBND News his department has far outgrown its current building, "It was built on 1.1 acres, it only has 16 secure parking spots and it was built in the late 90s for 36 employees. We have over 60 employees now, so we’ve almost doubled our staffing size. The population of Redmond has almost tripled in that amount of time." He says evidence is housed in various locations around the city and they’ve delayed hiring in the past because there isn’t enough parking.
The city recently purchased property on NW Canal (pictured), where a new police facility would be built, "That was 8 acres of property, so Council gave us the approval to make that purchase. At that point, we did a needs assessment, looking at not only that property but what kind of size of a building are we going to need for the amount of people we currently have, but obviously looking beyond that to the next 20-30 years, kind of trying to forecast the growth of the city and the growth of the department."
But that project hinges on voter approval of the 20-year General Obligation bond. "Failure isn’t really an option," says Lewis. He believes the department will need to ask again in November if the May measure doesn't pass, "I don’t see another way at this point. We’ve maximized every nook and cranny we could in this space. We’ve converted closets and janitorial spaces, and the old Council chambers - we’ve converted all that and we’re still outgrowing it." City Council has committed $9 million to the project, which is expected to cost $49 million. The bond would cover the remaining $40 million.
If the property tax measure is approved, property owners would pay 73-cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Chief Lewis says that’s about $150 dollars a year for the average Redmond house.
There is no organized opposition to the measure. Although, a Facebook page supporting the bond has drawn critical comments.