FEBRUARY 3, 1997

 The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Guest Column

Bothell 'yes' vote will provide essential police services

new police HQ by John Curtin, Mayor of Bothell
The city of Bothell is asking voters for a permanent police station. The city already owns and has acquired options on one-half of the property across from City Hall and will acquire the balance of the needed property and construct a new police station if the voters say "yes" on Feb. 4, 1997, to construct a new Police and 911 Communications Facility.
   The City Council has carefully analyzed the site across from City Hall and agree that its central location provides easy access by the public, that it is centralized for coordinated service delivery and vehicular access, and that it makes a continued commitment to the safety and economic development of the downtown area.
   The city is asking specifically for $9.7 million, which amounts to an annual cost to Bothell property owners of approximately 38 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. An average Bothell homeowner with a $150,000 home would pay approximately $4.69 per month for a public safety facility to provide essential police services for the community.
   Prior to 1973, the Bothell Police Department was located in the basement of City Hall. From 1973 until 1987, the Police Department was located in Bothell's old Post Office building across from City Hall. The Police Department remained there until the roof and south wall began to cave in and the building was deemed unsafe and unstable. That building has since been torn down, and is now a parking lot for City Hall.
   In 1987, "temporary" office space in the Quadrant Business Park was leased. Ten years and $1.2 million dollars in lease payments and tenant improvements later, it is time for a permanent and safe police and emergency 911 communications center to be built.
   If the voters say "yes," the city will begin the design process immediately, and if it is cost-effective, a court will be included in the construction in 1998. Voter approval of the 20-year bond will be an essential improvement to the community and will set this issue of being "temporary and unsafe" to rest. It is time to act.