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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.

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Carly Keenan

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

Comments

10 Comments

  1. Now it is time for the citizens of Redmond to hold the city to the fire if this Police Headquarters exceed 40 million. We want accountability and no lame duck cop outs.

  2. Talk about a waste of money for Sunriver. What the heck do they need a new larger police station for? There is hardly ANY crime in Sunriver. Guess the libs just love throwing money at everything but never solving anything.

    1. What do you care what the people of Sunriver voted for? And where do you get your stats on the crime out there? Keep screaming at the sky, bro.

      1. I use to live there and have family that owns several properties there and I know crime is very very low in Sunriver. Keep screaming at the sky you say? Funny the sky keeps answering me bro.

  3. Would love to know what Redmond is doing with the HUGE increase in property taxes that they no doubt have had in the last few years. Houses going up EVERYWHERE. Of course there is not one government agency that I have ever seen handle money well….so what can we expect. I do want police to answer my call if I ever need them, so we’ll just keep paying our taxes and hope for the best.

  4. In other news about the Police, who the whole time are onto the PUBLIC ABOUT SECURING YOUR WEAPONS:
    On Wednesday morning, May 18, 2022, an off-duty member of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office discovered their personal vehicle had been broken into overnight in southeast Salem. Among the items stolen from inside of the vehicle was equipment belonging to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team including:

    Green tactical vest with helmet
    Portable police radio
    Gas mask
    Black semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle w/ optic
    Rifle and pistol magazines with ammunition
    Medic kit

    Due to the theft occurring inside the city of Salem, the incident was reported to the Salem Police Department.

    Sheriff Kast stated, “It is humbling to share about incidents such as this, however, we are absolutely committed to being transparent with our community and engaging their assistance by soliciting tips that may help us recover the stolen equipment. We will be conducting an internal review of the incident to determine if there were violations of policy or procedures.”

    Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to call the Salem Police Department Tips Line at 503-588-8477 or to submit their tip by texting TIPMCSO and their tip to 847411.”

  5. Waste of an opportunity, a well placed new police station could have improved the center of the city nearby the station. Now Redmond is moving the police station across the highway away from the city. With the proposed design and layout it’ll look more like a strip mall than a police station.

  6. Thanks for the blank check, suckers. Especially you renters who thought that it wouldn’t cost you anything. Bet you didn’t know that when property taxes go up, so will your rent. And special thanks to those who were too lazy to vote. There’s a reason these crooks schedule bond issues in off-year primaries.

  7. I am bitter about this still. While I support the police this will raise property taxes and I will likely be kicked out of my house because of this… The owner will likely end of selling… So you’re not welcome.

  8. Let’s start a new group and call it COWA FOR Central Ore Whiners Association. You folks could meet one night a week and Whine, Whine , Whine together where the rest of us can’t hear you.

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