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Survey shows tough climb for police station bond measure

Just 55 percent would vote for bond measure

The city of West Linn faces tough odds in earning voter approval of a bond measure to fund a new police station.

That's according to a recent survey conducted by Research 13 and commissioned by the city. Results were released Tuesday.

Although 60 percent of respondents believed the police station was in bad shape - while another 24 percent weren't sure of the building's condition - just 55 percent would vote for a proposed bond measure to replace it with a new, safer building.

Participants not yet sure of their feelings would be critically important to a bond measure's success, the survey showed. Of the 23 percent who wouldn't support backing bonds, many 'are pretty solidly against it,' according to a summary of results.

The remaining one-in-five survey takers weren't yet sure how they would vote if the police station is put on a ballot this fall.

Research 13 conducted the poll in April, interviewing 250 residents considered likely voters from across West Linn, including households on the 'do not call' registry and those that only use cell phones. The average age of survey respondents was between 60 and 65, and the typical participant had lived in the city for 15 to 19 years.

The goal was to gauge public opinion about the city, gather information about voter perception of police station issues and assess support for a possible tax increase.

Location and cost are among residents' biggest concerns in building a new station, the results show.

Many residents cited size and facility modernization as important issues.

One in six respondents was most concerned about the existing station being unsafe.

Those concerned with the financial aspects of a bond measure were more likely to support a tax increase of $50 annually than $60 per year; however, they weren't much more likely to support a $50 tax increase over a $40 bump, a sign that price sensitivity in that range is low.

The city council is considering asking voters this year to pay for a $8.5 million project including land acquisition and building construction.