New police station up to voters
Moscow, Idaho, residents will vote May 21 on a 10-year, $9.64 million general obligation bond to fund the construction of a police station and remodeling of city buildings.
The Moscow City Council approved the bond ordinance Tuesday night.
About $7.89 million of the nearly $10 million bond would fund the construction of a new police station proposed on the corner of Southview Avenue and South Main Street/U.S. Highway 95.
The remainder of the proposed bond, which requires a two-thirds supermajority to pass, would fund the remodeling of the existing police station to accommodate other city office needs ($1.5 million) and the remodeling of the city's Paul Mann Building, located next to city hall ($132,043).
The Paul Mann Building makeover would address cracking in the building's exterior masonry, replacement of the roof and installation of a new siding system to extend the functional life of the building.
The city's Information Systems Department, currently housed in the Eggan Youth Center on East D Street, would relocate to the Paul Mann Building so the department is closer to city hall and can support other city functions.
In total, the three projects are estimated to cost $9,519,708.
Because of the city's outstanding bond rating, Moscow Community Development Director Bill Belknap said city staff are expecting to receive an extremely favorable bond interest rate of 2.21 percent for the proposed 10-year bond.
Belknap said city staff evaluated potential 10-, 15- and 20-year bond financing term options and concluded the 10-year term was the best option. It would save as much as $2.3 million in interest expenses while only increasing the taxpayer impact by just over $4 per month on a $250,000 home.
He said the 10-year bond is estimated to cost taxpayers about $85 per year per $100,000 in taxable valuation. For example, a homeowner with a $250,000 assessed valuation and a taxable valuation of $150,000 after a $100,000 homeowner's exemption, would pay $126.86 per year if the bond passes.
Councilor Brandy Sullivan asked Belknap Tuesday night if the cost of installing solar panels at the proposed police station was incorporated in the station's cost estimate.
The Moscow Sustainable Environment Commission has asked the city to consider utilizing solar power at the new police facility.
Belknap said solar power installation is not included in the estimate but that if the council wishes to pursue that, it can bring the item up during the construction design process, should the bond pass. If the solar power installation exceeds the bond proceeds or if the council wants to pursue other additional elements to the project that would extend beyond the proceeds of the bond, Belknap said it could contribute city funds.
The city considered a general obligation bond a few years ago to help address some of its major challenge areas, such as park development, fire truck replacements and its inadequate police station.
The council was successful in funding some of the city's major challenge areas like park development and fire truck replacements, but a new police facility has remained a need for more than two decades.
Early discussions about a new police facility focused on relocating the building to the Moscow Recycling Center on Jackson Street. But the city decided to look elsewhere within the city.
After a detailed assessment on a number of sites, city staff determined the Southview Avenue location was the best choice.
In December, the city council approved a purchase and sale agreement with Indian Hills Trading Co. for $807,656 for the 2.31-acre piece of wheat field just west of The Grove Apartments.