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Fate of PG public safety building in voters’ hands

By Laura Giles correspondent - | Aug 21, 2014

PLEASANT GROVE – Voters in Pleasant Grove will once again have the chance to vote for or against a bond that will fund a new public safety building. 

City Council members agreed at this week’s meeting to move forward with the vote. A special bond election will be held Nov. 4, enabling citizens to make their voices heard about the proposed $12.67 million bond.

This comes one year after residents voted down a different bond proposal for the same purpose. However, much has happened in the months since, according to Mayor Mike Daniels, who said that last year residents had lost trust in the City Council.

In 2013, a municipal authority bond was proposed, which would have only required a majority vote by the five council members to pass. After hearing from disgruntled residents, council members changed the proposal to a general obligation bond, requiring a majority vote from residents.

“However, the damage was already done,” Daniels said.

Since then, a rigorous process has occurred to gather input, research, educate the public and reduce the estimated cost of the project from $19 million to $14.97 million, according to Daniels. The use of city funds would bring the bond amount down to $12.67 million.

The city portion of property taxes would be increased to pay the bond, resulting in a 6 percent increase in the overall tax bill, according to Dean Lundell, city finance director.

The process has involved several teams made up of both experts and citizens.

“Together, these teams approached the project in a systematic method of redefining needs from wants,” Daniels said.

“In addition, the openness of involving the community directly in the process has broadened the base of people who completely understand the project. Those citizens who volunteered their time to participate in the project have definitely experienced a change of heart.”

“The response from the citizens this year in regards to the proposed public safety building has been very positive,” said Cyd LeMone, city councilwoman. “I have learned from last year that residents just want to know exactly what they are voting on, and we have provided that information this time around.”

The proposed building would house Pleasant Grove’s fire station, police station and justice court facility. City leaders and MOCA, a construction consulting firm hired by the city, say current facilities are inadequate to meet the safety needs of the community.

A public hearing about the project and the bond will be held Sept. 16, although the time and location have not yet been decided.

For more information about current public safety building concerns and the proposed new building, visit www.plgrove.org.

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