What's not to like about this PLAN B? Voters have said "No" to the unwise, over-priced $82 million police facility bond measure. So you'll find a two-page document describing our better "Yes" below.
Hopefully City officials will begin to work with concerned citizens so another Public Safety bond measure can be passed in 2017 that gives the Police Department a perfectly adequate smaller-sized headquarters AND makes City Hall and the Library earthquake-safe.
All for $62 million, $20 million less than the rejected bond measure would have spent on a police facility alone.
I wrote the PLAN B piece last night, spurred by a document architect Geoffrey James (a fellow Salem Community Vision steering committee member) had sent me. We'd both attended a SCV meeting the day before where the basics of a PLAN B had been discussed.
It was good to see that reporter Whitney Woodworth incorporated this proposal into her hot-off-the-press story, "After police facility bond measure fails, what next?"
Architect Geoffrey James, a member of Salem Community Vision, driving force behind the reduced Courthouse Square repair costs and a member of the task force spoke out against the "bloated" bond before the election. He said the high price tag would doom the measure, and after it failed to pass, began working immediately with community action groups Salem Can Do Better and Salem Community Vision to draft a "Plan B."
That plan suggests a bond that pairs a 75,000 square-foot building — similar in size to the Eugene Police Department's building — on the O'Brien site costing $29.2 million (plus the $5.5 million land purchase) with $27 million in seismic upgrades to city hall and the library.
The police department badly needs a new building, James said, and civic center employees and visitors need to be safe.
"It is important that we get this back on the ballot ASAP," he added.
An "ambitious but doable" timeline proposed by the groups suggests a January 2017 public hearing and city council vote on a Plan B followed by a bond on the May ballot. According to the timeline, the police department could be moved into the new facility by February 2019 and all seismic upgrades would completed later that year.
Here's PLAN B: