ELECTION 2016 - Kalama Proposition #1 Facts
In an effort to begin the funding of a new Police facility the City Council took action in July to place Proposition 1 on the November ballot for the citizens to consider. If approved, Proposition 1 will implement a 0.1% additional sales and use tax split between the City (85%) and Cowlitz County (15%) for which the proceeds shall be used for police services including those for a new facility. The tax will be applicable to all purchases within the City limits. It is estimated the tax, which is .10 (ten cents) on $100 (one hundred dollars), would generate about $50,000 a year. This would only fund a portion of the anticipated cost of a new police facility. The City is looking for additional funding options including grants, loans and general obligation bonds. This proposed tax increase is now before the residents of Kalama to make the final decision.
Why a new Police Facility? The flood in December of 2015 displaced the Kalama Police Department and they are currently providing services from an inadequate 1200 square foot corner of the Kalama Community Building. The former location was 2500 square feet. The City is working to find a suitable location and to design a new facility that will last the Department well into the future. A Police Department requires a professional space that includes office areas for all the officers, with a reception area and private office for the Chief, plus it requires spaces for secure evidence storage, suspect holding area, private interview area, and work space for fingerprinting and other functions, many of which are not currently available. A growing community often necessitates an increase in public safety measures and police services, and it is the objective of the City to continue to adequately meet those needs for its citizens.