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Salem City Council to Receive Public Testimony on Proposed Police Facility
by Oregon State Media, Inc.
Published on Thursday February 25, 2016    6:07 PM     
 
SALEM, Oregon - The City Council will meet Monday, February 29 at 6:30 PM to receive further information on the proposed police facility and listen to public testimony. The meeting builds on a February 22 work session where DLR Group, a nationwide architectural firm with expertise in police facility design, presented design concepts and cost information for the previously identified, top-two sites for the proposed police facility. 

The DLR architect team, led by Jake Davis and Tim Ganey, presented different perspectives of three-dimensional, conceptual drawings to provide the Council with an idea of how the building and associated parking would look at the Leslie (property between Commercial and Liberty St. SE bordering Mission St. SE to the south and Leslie St. to the north) and O'Brien (former O'Brien Auto Group property northeast of the intersection of Division and Commercial St. NE) sites. The team also provided estimates of the cost to build a seismically stable facility that allows for the consolidated and efficient delivery of police and 9-1-1 services. The comprehensive cost estimates include building construction, site work, professional design fees, property acquisition, furnishing and equipping the new building, and allowances for cost inflation and other unknown factors. 

The cost at the Leslie site is estimated at $79.4 million, which equates to a property tax impact of $8.86 per month for a home with a taxable value of $200,000. The cost at the O'Brien site is estimated at $81.4 million, with a property tax impact of $9.08 per month for the same valued home. The total cost at the O'Brien site could be reduced by over a million dollars if required on-site intersection improvements to benefit traffic circulation in the area are funded with urban renewal dollars, decreasing the estimated tax impact to an average home owner by about 12 cents per month. 

Alternatives to the recommended option were also presented in response to questions asked by Council at a January 21, 2016 work session. The alternatives, which may remove the 9-1-1 call 
center from the building and factor in lower growth assumptions, are estimated to reduce the overall cost between 55 cents and $1.20 per month. A full list of the alternatives and cost impacts are available, along with related materials from the previous public meetings, can be found on the City's website: http://www.cityofsalem.net/PublicSafetyFacility. 

Planning Well for the Future 
Projected community growth and national standards were used in developing a recommendation for an appropriately-sized, modern police facility which would serve Salem's needs for decades. Prospective sites for a facility were evaluated against location, cost and suitability factors the International Association of Chiefs of Police has deemed to be most critical to site feasibility analysis. 

Appropriate Size for Proposed Modern Police Facility for Salem, Oregon 
The DLR Group consultant team recommends 148,000 square feet of space for an appropriately-sized, modern police facility for the City of Salem, Oregon. Davis stated that the recommended size is "modest for large, urban and complex operations of the Salem Police Department." 

Usable Space 
The total recommended square footage includes about 115,000 square feet of what would be considered usable space. 

Building Gross 
The remaining square footage would be allocated for circulation and what architects refer to as building gross, or the space required to house items such as corridors, electrical and heating systems, stairwells and elevators. 

Public Testimony 
Members of the public can address their comments on a new police facility to the City Council during the appointed time on Monday, February 29, 2016, at the Council Chambers (555 Liberty St. SE, Room 240). Those desiring to speak should sign up before the meeting begins at 6:30 PM. As you enter the doors through the Liberty Street side of the Council Chambers, signup sheets are located on the counter to the right or east side of the chambers. Speakers are provided up to three minutes for comments. 

Next Steps 
A final City Council decision on the size and location of a proposed future police facility and whether to pursue a voter-approved, general obligation bond in November 2016 to fund its construction could be made by April. 

Public Information 
The February 29 Council meeting will air and stream live via Capital Community Television (CCTV). CCTV footage can be viewed any time at http://www.cctvsalem.org/. 

The City of Salem has a captured a series of Frequently Asked Questions at: 
http://bit.ly/PoliceFacilityConceptFAQs. 

For more background and all public information related to this topic, visit: 
http://www.cityofsalem.net/PublicSafetyFacility. 

Background: Salem's Current Police Operations and Need 
Currently, Salem's Police Department occupies 28,000 square feet on the first floor of the Civic Center, which was built in 1972 when Salem's population was half of what it is today. The space houses 187 sworn officers. In comparison, neighboring Keizer serves 37,064 residents, has 38 sworn officers and occupies 28,800 square feet. Some critical operations, such as the crime lab and 9-1-1 dispatch center, are located off-site in 20,000 square feet of leased space. 

Project Information 
For more information about this project, please contact: Allen J. Dannen, PE, Assistant City Engineer, City of Salem, 503-588-6211 or via e-mail at adannen@cityofsalem.net