Proposition A: A Bond Measure to Support Public Safety and Training Facilities
Kent City Council members voted July 1, 2014 to send a $34 million bond levy to the General Election ballot under Ordinance No. 4118. Voters will be asked to consider Proposition A November 4, 2014.
Why is the City proposing this bond measure?
The purpose of the measure is to construct and equip new public safety and training facilities to accommodate a growing police force. The existing police headquarters is a remodeled library designed to accommodate 85 officers back in 1991. Today, the police force includes 144 officers with planned growth to 160 by 2017, not including the jail, administrative staff, police records specialists, or evidence custodians and technicians.
- Officers, detectives and support staff are scattered among four different buildings, impeding the communication that’s critical to Intelligence Led Policing. This strategy focuses resources in high crime areas and on high impact criminals. Consolidation of the police force would improve their ability to solve crimes.
- Officers are stacked 2-3 people per cubicle; even broom closets have been converted to office space.
- The Kent City Jail does not have the mental health crisis cell capacity to secure the mentally ill which make up about half of the jail population.
If Proposition A is approved, what will the bond measure pay for?
- If passed, the proceeds from the sale of bonds would pay to demolish the existing police building and construct a new police headquarters at its current location. The 19,000-square-foot facility would be replaced by a two-story, 47,770-square-foot building. Officers would be housed at temporary locations during construction which could take 12 to 18 months.
- The measure will also cover the cost to construct additional crisis cells at the jail, and replace badly-needed wiring and plumbing, extending its life for about 30 more years.
- The 25-year-old firearms training facility will be doubled in size to provide realistic training for critical incidents, including situations involving active shooters.
How much will Proposition A cost Kent property owners if it's approved?
The bond measure would authorize the City to collect about 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, depending on the tax rate set by the County. The estimated annual cost to property owners is an additional $57 for a home valued at $300,000.
How did the City arrive at the $34 million cost for the new police facilities?
Local architect, Dave Clark, designer of Renton City Hall, Valley Communications Center and a number of other government buildings, analyzed police staffing, equipment and training needs to come up with the square footage needed for the department. He used his knowledge of local construction costs and referred to national standards to construct a police facility. He then factored in soft costs, such as the amount needed to design, engineer and manage the project, the cost to move into and rent separate space during construction, and construction inflation projections to arrive at the $34 million projection.
Who should I contact to request a presentation, or ask specific questions?
Chief Ken Thomas, Kent Police
Last updated July 7, 2014