Tuesday night may have felt like “Groundhog Day” to some Arroyo Grande city officials.
For the second time in two years, a measure to fund a new police station failed, this time with just more than 61 percent of the vote. The $6.7 million bond measure needed two-thirds approval — 66.7 percent — to pass.
In 2010, a similar measure for a station at West Branch Street and Rodeo Drive failed with 65 percent of the vote.
This time, local officials felt they had an even better plan for a new station at West Branch Street and Old Ranch Road. If it had passed, construction could have started in February, City Manager Steve Adams said.
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City officials say a new station is badly needed. Police have occupied the station at 200 N. Halcyon Road since 1973, when there were 12 full-time and six part-time employees. Today the force is 36 full-time and 15 part-time employees.
The new station would have given police an expanded dispatch center, an emergency operations center and adequate space to store evidence and house computer equipment.
To avoid increasing property taxes, the city planned to obtain financing through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, refinance bonds issued in 2003 to expand the fire station and use some local sales tax revenue to cover the balance of the bond payments.
The city has made some repairs to the current police headquarters in the past two years. Adams said the city will now have to evaluate its options.
“If it doesn’t pass, it will be a step in the wrong direction in terms of us trying to meet our long-term needs in the most cost-effective manner,” he said previously.
Arroyo grande police bond, 100 percent of precincts reporting
Yes, 61.17 percent
No, 38.83 percent