Kent City Council decided Wednesday to renew its push for funding a new Safety Administration Building in November.
Council unanimously approved submitting a 0.25-percent income tax increase that would fund construction of the new facility on Day Street.
Kent voters rejected the same increase in last November's election by a vote of 5,490 to 4,486 according to official results from the Portage County Board of Elections. The tax, which had no sunset provision, would have raised an estimated $1.3 million per year to replace the 88-year-old police building at the corner of Water Street and Haymaker Parkway.
Police officials estimated the cost of a new safety building at $18 million. Kent architecture firm David Sommers and Associates has reviewed the current facility and deemed it outdated and potentially unsafe, and in a condition where renovation would likely near $12 million without solving all of the building's problems.
Studies of the building have found it to be deficient in areas that include jail compliance, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, plumbing, electrical system compliance, evidence storage, fire safety compliance and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
During council's discussion, City Manager Dave Ruller emphasized the need to clarify the language of the initiative that, per feedback from council and the community, may have been confusing to some.
Ruller also emphasized inserting a sunset clause into the tax, meaning the corresponding income tax would expire after a set amount of time.
The cost of the station, Ruller said, is about "dead center" of the average cost that neighboring municipalities have paid for new stations.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1126 or firstname.lastname@example.org