The City of Great Bend Friday evening released the architectural renderings for the proposed new Police Station. These came just shy of a week before the general election next Tuesday that includes three city sales tax initiatives, one of which is to fund the facility.
“It’s important to remember that the final product may look slightly different based on the final planning,” City Administrator Kendal Francis said. “But it will be very similar.”
The city seeks a .10% sales tax with a 20-year sunset to cover the debt service for the construction of the station. The estimated revenue comes to $377,752 per year and would equal 10 cents on every $100 spent by a consumer.
This is roughly a $6 million project and the city has $1.5 million set aside for it. So, officials want to issue bonds to cover the $5 million balance.
They are looking at a 19,000 to 21,000 square-foot facility at 12th and Baker on what is now a city parking lot and will also house the Municipal Court.
It would replace the current station at 1207 Williams St. This 8,000-square-foot building was building was built in 1938 and originally housed the Police and Fire departments, Francis said.
However, the present location is cramped, lacks storage and meeting spaces, isn’t handicapped accessible, and much of its infrastructure is outdated, he said.
The city is working with Wichita-based McCown-Gordon Construction to provide construction manager services for the project. Wichita’s GLMV Architects is handling the station’s design work.
Should the measure pass, the city will immediately begin working with its bond advisors. The bonds should be issued by year’s end.
As for a construction schedule, “that has not yet been determined,” Francis said. “I think we are targeting a spring start time with 12-month construction window.”
In the meantime, the city and the Great Bend Police Department are continuing to sell the endeavor to the public.
The GBPD and the Fire Department will host a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce coffee on Thursday to cover the Police Station tax and the tax to fund improvements to the pension/retirement system for first responders. That is set for 9 a.m. at the Police Department, 1217 Williams St.
Anyone wanting to tour the current Police Station can call Chief Steve Haulmark at 620-793-4120.
Other tax initiatives
The retirement tax is .20%. This comes to 20 cents on every $100 spent, raising an estimated $755,000 each year with no sunset.
Currently, the city provides a 401K retirement plan for all employees, including policemen and firefighters, Francis said. A final determination on what this new plan will be has not been made.
In addition to these two, the city is looking for approval of a .15% sales tax for quality of life improvements with no sunset. The estimated revenue comes to $566,628 per year, coming to 15 cents for every $100 spent.
This covers improvements to parks and other recreational facilities, as well as maintenance.
The .45% total for all three questions would increase the city’s sales tax rate from 8.25% to 8.70%. This is still in the middle of the pack compared to similar cities,