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Redmond, Sunriver police thankful voters approved measures to fund new, larger public safety facilities

Updated: (adding video, reaction from officials)

Both Redmond bond, Sunriver Public Safety 10-year levy passed

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Not one, but two Central Oregon police departments are getting new, larger headquarters. The city of Redmond has won voter approval of its proposed new Public Safety Facility, as has the resort community of Sunriver.

Tuesday night's primary election results found Redmond's proposed $40 million bond was approved by a vote of 56% yes to 44% no votes.

The facility was proposed by the Redmond Police Department, which outlined its need for more space and various new systems.

The new building has a cost cap of $49 million, but the Redmond City Council already committed $9 million to the project, which makes the general obligation bond $40 million. Homeowners will pay $152 a year, based on the average assessed value of a home.

Redmond's Police Chief Devin Lewis told NewsChannel 21 how much the measure means to the department.

"It means a lot. We're really encouraged by the preliminary results, and we're hoping those numbers continue to trend in our direction," Lewis said. "And it means a lot to have the community support. I know all of us that work here at the Redmond Police Department were very appreciative of the community support, and we're very excited to hopefully be able to get a new building and be able to grow and evolve with the City of Redmond as it evolves and grows."

The Sunriver Service District is in the same fortunate -- and thankful -- position after Tuesday night's election results showed their 10-year local option levy passing handily, 70-30%.

The current Sunriver Police and Fire facilities do not meet code requirements for an “essential facility,” officials said in their information provided during the election. The 10-year levy will remodel the current fire station into a combined police and public safety building for $18 million -- something Lt. Mike Womer with the Sunriver Police Department said is very much needed.

"The fact that this community voted for us -- I mean, we're honored, we're humbled. It's huge," Womer said.

A low-interest, tax-exempt loan will be pursued to service the debt over the 10 years of the levy. The financial impact to owners for this public safety improvement is $0.47 per $1,000 of tax assessed value. For a property owner in Sunriver with a taxable assessed property value of $400,000, this will be an additional $188 per year for the next 10 years.

Both departments lack parking, space to interview victims and suspects and store evidence. Womer says the new facility will make the department run smoother and more efficiently.

"This will streamline our processes," Womer told NewsChannel 21. "It will make our officers more available and efficient in the community and spend less time at other facilities in the county to accomplish our mission."

Both facilities are expected to be completed in 2024. Bill Hepburn, chair of the Sunriver Association, says the project will serve as an investment for the future.

"Not only are we building for today, but we're looking to give Sunriver adequate public safety facilities for the next 30-40 years," Hepburn said.

Once the election is certified, the next step for Redmond's bond is to secure funding. The Sunriver Service District has already begun its next steps. Board members are working on request proposals for a design team and then will find a contractor.

Article Topic Follows: Redmond

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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.


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