Sunday, August 03, 2014

Heber City Public Safety Building recent History

The cost for the City to provide for the public safety of the Citizens of Heber amounts to 43% of our total budget. This is money well spent, but as a member of the council, I have deep concerns regarding how we will continue to find funding for the increasing cost of public safety.   Alan McDonald 29 May 2013

Heber City Council Meeting excerpts:

  30 Apr 2011  Councilman McDonald said the Police Department was 40% of budget. He suggested the City was still staffing the Police Department as if the population of Heber was 6,000. He suggested the City had to allocate more money to fund that Department or consolidate with Wasatch County--fund it and staff it like it should be or let it go. 

21 July 2011  Resolution 2011-07 – A Resolution to Complete two studies for a Five- and Ten-Year Public Safety Service Plan: Councilman McDonald moved to approve Resolution 2011-07 and appoint part of the Council to participate in that study. He said he did not think there had ever been a study of this kind done before.

. . . Councilman McDonald said he wanted to look at combining some or all of the services. He
pointed out that jail and dispatch services were already combined and suggested combining other
services might also be worthwhile such as SWAT, training or other services.
. . .   Councilman McDonald indicated it was Mark Anderson who put it on the regular agenda. Anderson said the e-mail he received from Councilman McDonald instructed him to put the item on the regular agenda.
. . .  Councilman McDonald did not want the Department to think this was solely consolidation and
apologized if that was how this was interpreted. He just wanted to have a study done and look at
all the options to enhance the Department and safety of the citizens.

18 Aug 2011  Review Draft Resolution - Studies for Public Safety 5- and 10-year Operating Plan:
Council Member McDonald proposed continuing with the study. He didn’t think there would be
a huge cost involved if volunteers were asked to participate. Mayor Phillips stated he talked to
Chief Rhoades, and that combining departments with the County was not the underlying issue,
but rather there were several issues to consider.
. . . All agreed to move this Resolution to the regular City Council meeting agenda. Mayor Phillips stated he would approach Sheriff Bonner to discuss the thoughts of the Council. Council Member McDonald suggested a Council member go with him to that meeting.

1 Sep 2011   Resolution 2011-07 - A Resolution to Complete Two Studies for a 5- and 10-year Public
Safety Operating Plan:
Council Member McDonald stated this Resolution was the same one
the Council had previewed.
. . . Council Member Mergist wanted to know the costs of a new law enforcement building, a
remodeled building or finding a new location altogether. Council Member McDonald indicated
the committee would discuss the options and then give the Council direction and create the scope
of work.
. . . Voting Aye: Council Members Horner, McDonald and Mergist. Voting Nay: Council Members
Straddeck and Patterson.

Comments: The Police Chief and officers were opposed to the study.  Some time after that Sep 2011 meeting, possibly in a work meeting, Mergist informally withdrew his support and the study was never done, but I don't believe the resolution was ever rescinded.    

Wouldn't it have been nice to do the study FIRST? - the proposed cost was 'only'  $2,500 (cheap for studies!)

The next step was basically 
$7.5 Million for a building "residents can be proud of" and can remember as a monument to those with such forethought to approve it as memorialized by the plaque with their names engraved.

A partial solution for the COST was proposed 12/15/13      (Wasatch County has had Impact Fees for Public Safety, collecting about $500K in the last five years.  Why didn't Heber?  Development causes costs - hence IMPACT Fees!) 

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