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The police station and municipal court are too small to deliver the current programming. They are also inconveniently located on Bainbridge Island.
The current locations and facilities make it difficult to provide high-quality services to the community.
In 2014, the City contracted with the Mackenzie firm to conduct a study of the current police and court facilities and analyze potential options for replacement. The study found that the current facility is undersized and outdated for effective, modern law enforcement. There are numerous deficiencies (PDF) listed in the report. Below is a small sample of deficiencies at the Police Station:
Read the Mackenzie study here.
The City Council and staff considered many different locations on Bainbridge Island for a new police station and court facility over the past 20 or more years. As recently as 2017, there were six potential sites identified and studied.
In 2018, the City considered various sites and proceeded to consider the Harrison Building with its design team. The team identified ways to make all the needed aspects for the Police and Court functions fit into the existing building. Purchase of the building was supported by the municipal court judge and the police chief. The cost estimates indicated that the Harrison site could be completed at a lower cost than earlier expected.
More details are available at bainbridgewa.gov/1178.
There were four appraisals completed with as is market values ranging from $7.0 million to $9.7 million. A review of emails and other records shows that the seller was initially unwilling to consider anything less than $9.0 million based on their appraisal and direction from their board. The final negotiated price was $8.975 million.
The City made lower initial offers based on appraisal information, starting at $8.5 million, which were rejected. Some members of the community have suggested that the City should have offered a much lower figure; staff has no reason to believe that this would have been successful. The process used followed a standard approach for a municipal property purchase.
No. The purchase of the building included building fixtures such as the ventilation system, but not trade fixtures such as medical equipment.
The entire project is budgeted at $20.0 million. In 2019, the Council decided to move forward with $12 million of funding from existing City resources (which had been set aside for this purpose) and $8 million of funding from long-term debt through the issuance of Councilmanic bonds, also known as Limited Tax General Obligation bonds (LTGO).
LTGO bonds are repaid using existing City revenues, and have not increased property taxes.
The proceeds from the LTGO bond sale funded the purchase of the Harrison building.
This is a difficult question to answer. The City paid a price negotiated by real estate professionals and approved by staff from both organizations and the City Council. The final price was higher than that first offered by the City and lower than first asked by the original owner.
With new councilmembers and transition in City staff, the current elected and staff leadership are not the same as the group which made decisions two and three years ago. It’s appropriate to ask questions, review the answers and be ready to move forward to continue
The Council and City staff are responsive to community questions and concerns. Since November 2020, there have been numerous questions from community members and councilmembers.
Staff is ready to support this discussion and help interested residents understand the decision-making process and cost structure. In the months since November 2020, staff have provided responses to many questions and Council has discussed this topic at several Council meetings.
The City’s project management team expects to have a building permit and be ready to advertise the project for construction bids in March. With this timing, a contract could be ready to come to Council for consideration of award in April or early May. Construction could begin in the summer or fall of 2021.
The Council will continue its discussion on the project during the April 6 study session.
If the Council puts the project on hold, the City will not advertise for construction bids in April, as we currently plan. In addition: