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Campaign launched for bond on Salt Lake public safety building

Campaign launched for bond on Salt Lake public safety building



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Standing in front of their dilapidated building on 200 South and 300 East, fire and police administrators joined with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker Monday morning to make a pitch for a new building.

The bond to fund the new building would mean a tax increase for home and business owners.

"We have much more unified approach now," said Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank of the plan to borrow $125 million to build a public safety building on 300 East, between 400 South and 500 South.

The plan is about 40 percent cheaper than a bond that was proposed two years ago--one that failed in the polls.

Burbank says the current building--which houses about 500 police and fire administrators, firefighters, police officers and others--was never built for public safety purposes. The building that was erected in 1957 has also been deemed functionally un-survivable in the event of a large earthquake.

"A lot of people say, you know, we'll just fix the building,'" Burbank said. "These are such overwhelming costs, in some cases. And the fact is, if we're thinking about building a new building--2 years from now, 3 years from now--how much do you want to put into the old building that we would be leaving."

But the bond would cost property owners. Homes valued at $250,000 would have an additional property tax of roughly $75 annually; commercial properties would be double that.

"I recognize these are tough times," said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. But he remains hopeful the bond will pass.

Supporters are also hoping to reduce costs by sharing services, like a crime lab and evidence storage, with other agencies.

E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

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Marc Giauque

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