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Police station ballot measure coming to voters

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On Monday, I cast my vote to place a measure for a new West Linn police station on the November ballot. Approval of this resolution by the city council followed months of hard work by a 16-member citizen task force and moves us forward toward a safe and secure police facility.

The current police station was built more than 80 years ago. The building is unsafe, does not meet current seismic standards, and has multiple other health and safety problems. Based on the citizen task force recommendation, the city council unanimously placed an option to buy the property located at 8th Avenue and 13th Street in the Willamette neighborhood.

You may remember that West Linn voters were asked to approve a police station on the May 2010 ballot. That measure was significantly more expensive and proposed locating the police station on Parker Road; it was not successful. Since then, the city council has spent considerable time - with the assistance of many dedicated citizen volunteers - to reevaluate the proposed police station and location. To this end, we are proposing a less expensive facility with the bare minimum of needed features.

The 8th Avenue and 13th Street location was a top choice in the initial consideration of sites and based on feedback from citizens is better suited than the Parker Road site. Of all the sites considered, this site best meets the city's needs and is one of the most affordable options. If the ballot measure is approved in November, West Linn citizens and the Willamette neighborhood will play integral roles in designing a facility that is appropriate for our police force and community.

Information on both the site selection process and the proposed building is available on the city website, including a site selection presentation that can be accessed from the homepage. That presentation was used at the June 20 community presentation and the July 6 neighborhood presentation, and will also be used at future community meetings.

Over the next few months, you can expect a healthy and lively community conversation on the topic of the police station ballot measure. I welcome you to this conversation, and encourage you to contact me directly with your questions and comments. My email address is jcar

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Jody Carson is the West Linn City Council President