North Ogden Moves Forward with Bail Plans for Police Building, But Debate Not Over | Government

NORTH OGDEN – Although North Ogden executives have declared their intention to issue bonds to help pay for a new police headquarters, but it’s not yet a deal.

Residents, if they wish, still have the option of petitioning to force the bond issue – which could potentially lead to a property tax hike – to the ballot. So voters would decide if borrowing money is the way to go. That said, no one has publicly come forward declaring their intention to start a petition campaign, which could potentially slow the plans down, or even stop them altogether if successful.

When the council reached a public consensus at the end of March, Mayor Neal Berube recalls hearing about forcing the issue at the polls. He did not, however, report any recent discussions and, indeed, noted that he had heard favorable comments.

“I would say we’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the public, but as with other matters, there are those who feel that more due diligence needs to be done,” he said Thursday. Skeptics, he said, cite the cost and the means proposed to pay for the new structure, via bonds, but do not question the need for a new facility.

the North Ogden City Council at Tuesday advanced with plans to bond, approving a resolution defining some of the preliminary parameters of the effort, still subject to further discussion. Notably, the bond would not exceed $ 10.5 million per share as of Tuesday, although it may be cheaper when officials get more detailed cost estimates on building a new structure to house the North Ogden Police Department. If the city pledges the full $ 10.5 million, the cost of repaying the loan, with interest, would be approximately $ 13.02 million.

Per Tuesday’s action, the city will soon issue an official notice of intent to search for a link, when the 30-day petition period to force the question to a ballot begins. Bérubé and council members discussed the petition option, intended to give the public a say in these financial matters. “For those who would like to do this, there is that opportunity out there,” Berube said.

To be successful, petitioners would have to collect the signatures of 20% of registered voters in North Ogden, which would force the issue into the Nov. 2 ballot. According to Berube, there are approximately 12,600 registered voters in North Ogden, which means petitioners would need to get the signatures of more than 2,500 people to be successful. Then, if things went that far, the public would vote on whether the city should bail to help pay for a new police building.

The issue of policing has been the subject of discussion for years, particularly since last year, when a special committee that looked into the issue presented its findings.

If no petitioner comes forward or gets enough signatures, city council issues bonds to help fundraising move forward. According to the tentative timeline presented on Tuesday, subject to the publication of the public notice of intention to seek bail, a public hearing on the matter would be held on June 22 and petitioners would have until July 6 to collect evidence. signatures. Assuming there is no petition effort, the next steps after July 6 would be to determine cost estimates for the new police building before looking for bond funds.

The city plans to inject around $ 2 million in funds to keep the bond amount low. If the estimated cost is $ 8 million, city attorney Jon Call said, the city would bail for $ 6 million.

While the bond may require a property tax increase to cover the additional cost of repaying funds in coming years, Berube said city officials are trying to change the 2021-2022 budget to avoid such a scenario. The number crunchers are “on the verge” of crafting a spending plan that would not require a tax hike, although he said there may still be a “minimal tax hike” needed.

Police officials and their supporters say the current police department building at 515 E. 2600 North is too small and outdated. The building also houses the North Ogden Court of Justice. Their plans call for the construction of a new, larger facility on a space adjacent to the existing structure.

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