Dan Jones poll shows support for SLC public safety building

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SALT LAKE CITY -- In less than two months, Salt Lake City residents will decide whether or not to build a new public safety complex. Two years ago, voters rejected the idea, but right now a majority say they will vote "yes" for Proposition 1.

A week ago, the Utah Taxpayers Association endorsed the $125 million bond proposal. It's very rare for the organization to back any plan that costs taxpayers more money. This week, residents polled say they will support Proposition 1.

On Nov. 3, city voters will decide the measure that would give the OK to build a new public safety building, emergency operations center and underground parking structure.

Helen Langan, senior advisor to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, said, "As a city, we see our job as helping get the information out there to help voters make an informed decision on a really important issue."

So, the mayor's office is encouraged to see broad awareness and support. In an exclusive Dan Jones Poll for KSL-TV and the Deseret News, 60 percent of potential voters said they back Proposition 1, 25 percent oppose it, and 15 percent don't know.

For Salt Lake City voters, this may be the issue that brings them to the polls in this off-year election.

If approved, Proposition #1 will allocate $125 million in general obligation bonds that will pay for a Public Safety Building, an underground parking structure and a dedicated Emergency Operations Center. The estimated tax impact is $6.25 per month or $75 per year for the average residential property and $43.52 per month or $522.32 per year for the average business. -*[Salt Lake City](http://www.slcgov.com/PSB/)*
The old building is not considered earthquake safe, and maintenance costs 70 percent more than newer buildings that size. Sewage and water often leak into evidence rooms, work areas are cramped, and the elevators routinely break down. "It was a close election two years ago," says Langan. "The voters narrowly rejected it by 261 votes."

The proposal this year is $67 million less than it was in 2007 and would cost the owner of a $260,000 home about $6 a month, or $75 a year.

"We found every opportunity to build an efficient building that gets at the most urgent needs of the city in terms of emergency preparedness," Langan said.

The preferred location, if the bond passes, is the block of the Barnes Bank Building, the 400 block of 300 East. You can take a tour of the building, if you like.

Right now, KSL is not aware of any organized opposition to the proposition. If it passes, the city could build the complex within two to four years.

E-mail: jboal@ksl.com

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