KAYSVILLE -- Now that voters have defeated the proposed $4.5 million bond for a new Kaysville police station, city leaders look to offer in the next year or two a "modified, more conservative" design as part of an improvised plan B.
Voters on Nov. 2 rejected the bond referendum by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent.
"We don't have a plan B in place, but we are very workable," said Mayor Steve Hiatt.
One option city leaders may look at is scaling back the proposed 20,000-square-foot station design by eliminating the proposed exercise room and emergency operations center, Hiatt said.
There is also the possibility of doing the project in phases to reduce the bond amount needed, he said.
"Since the bond did not pass, we'll go back to the drawing board and propose what is the next best thing," said Hiatt, who supported the November bond that would have provided the city with the police station it needs through population buildout.
The 5,000-square-foot Kaysville police station, built in 1986, offers tight quarters, an unventilated, overcrowded evidence room and a questioning area where suspects waiting to be interviewed by police are adjacent to where the public is fingerprinted for identification purposes.
But before any decision is made on what the city council will propose, Hiatt stresses residents will be engaged in the design just as they were on the initial proposal.
"We're not above saying, 'Let's take a second look at this,' and engaging the public again," he said.
The $4.5 million bond would have increased the taxes on a $258,000 average market value home by $32.97 a year, said City Finance Director Dean Storey.
The city's cost to hold the referendum, including what was paid to architects to provide a building design, was about $85,000, Storey said.
One of the more vocal opponents of the proposed measure is willing to sit down with city leaders to discuss with them what their next move might be.
"I haven't heard one word from (city officials), and I am patiently waiting," said Margaret Brough, chairwoman for Kaysville Citizens for Responsible Government, the grass-roots group with about 200 members she helped organize to oppose the bond.
Brough said she is willing to meet with city leaders to determine if there is a need for a new police station, and if there is a need, she said, she is hoping for a "more rational plan."
There is space in the current station not being utilized, and the concerns surrounding the storage space for evidence can be resolved by ventilating the room, Brough said.
"Everything they tried to make out that was a critical need was not a critical need," she said, confident her group helped defeat the measure.
Brough said the group opposed the measure based on the proposed bond amount; because of the tight economy; and because the wording of the referendum would have given the city a "blank check" to work with.
Because of the tight economy, interest rates and construction costs are favorable, Hiatt said, adding that the referendum was worded to comply with state law and in no way presented the city with a blank check to build the station.
"As a council and a (design) committee, we proposed what we felt was the best need for the city," he said.
It is never popular to ask people for more money, Hiatt said, but he is not offended by those who voted against the bond, because taking the issue to the voters is the responsible thing to do.
"We're willing to go back and massage this," Hiatt said, and present a "modified, more conservative version in the next year or two."
But, he said, leaders need to be careful to avoid scaling the project so far back that they get into the same predicament they are in now by building a station that meets present needs and does not address future growth.