If at first you don't succeed, try again. Thats what Kent police and city officials have decided to do in their efforts to raise money to build a new police station. For the second time in a year Kent voters in November will be asked to approve a temporary quarter percent increase in the city income tax to replace the current crumbling police station. Kent Police Chief Michelle Lee tells AkronNewsNow " We have major repairs that need to be done. we had a roof collapse. We had a wall that was sinking, and pulling away from the building. It was just in dis-repair and just old."
Lee says the building, which at one time was the city fire department, dates back to 1924. She says several studies revealed it would cost as much to renovate the current building as it would to build a new police station. Building new will cost $17-million, and once the income tax pays for the construction cost, the tax increase would be cancelled.
Lee says city officials have had more time to spell out the need for a new police station this time. since voters rejected the first attempt to fund the project.
A community meeting is planned for October 15th at the police station, proceeded by tours of the current building.
News Release from the Kent City Police Department
The City of Kent will hold an important community meeting on Oct. 15 to discuss the .25% temporary earned income tax (Issue 4) and the need for a police facility. The meeting will be held in the Kent Police Station training room. Tours of the police station will run from 5-7 p.m., and the community meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
During the meeting, city officials will present the facts of the temporary earned income tax issue and residents will be given a chance to ask questions.
"The current facility was originally built in 1924," said Chief of Police Michelle Lee. "Despite significant investments made to prolong its service-life, it has been determined through several studies that the building has finally reached a point where it would cost more to fix it than it would cost to build a new one."
It also costs twelve times more to maintain and repair the aging facility than comparable city buildings.
Studies of the building have found it to be deficient in several areas that include jail compliance, electrical system compliance, plumbing, fire safety compliance and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The City of Kent has also received written notice from Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections that it is not compliant and runs the risk of being shut down.
If the measure passes, the temporary earned income tax will take effect in 2014, allowing the city to generate $1.3 million annually for the bond payment. Those who earn $50,000 annually would pay approximately $10.42 per month. The tax will only be used to pay off the building and will expire once payments are complete.
"The temporary earned income tax is an important issue for the City of Kent," said City Manager Dave Ruller. "The idea to build the proposed facility was not a snap decision. After much research and planning, it became clear that continuing to dump money into the building would be fiscally irresponsible. Through this meeting, we want to give residents the opportunity to see the deteriorating facility first-hand and better understand the need."
For more information regarding the Kent Police Department, please visit www.kentpd.org.