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The current Police and Fire facilities have many building deficiencies and do not meet the standards for an “Essential Facility.” The Fire Station is 25 years old and the Police Station is designed as office space. Deficiencies listed below are some of the main issues but they are not a complete list.
The Fire apparatus bay has compromised roof trusses from previous extreme snow loads. Also, there is a lack of gender specific accommodations for female fighters. Storage for turnouts (firefighting protective uniforms) is inadequate. The turnouts are susceptible to damage caused by UV light and exhaust which requires the firefighters to keep their gear in bags to prevent this damage. The Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) compressor is not housed in a clean room, important for the integrity of equipment. And the back-up generator is inadequate to maintain operations during and emergency with an extended power outage.
The Police department is part of the SROA Administrative office building, lacking appropriate security throughout. It has no space for victim interviews and currently interviews are held in the employee breakroom. The department does not have a secure suspect holding room, nor space for an intoxilyzer nor an area or booking/fingerprinting. Therefore, officers are out of service transporting suspects to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office in Bend or La Pine to use their facilities. There is not an adequate area for evidence processing or security. Some evidence requires refrigeration to maintain its integrity; however, there is no back-up emergency power in the building.
Both departments lack adequate decontamination areas. The Fire Department literally hoses firefighters in the apparatus bays before going to the living quarters. This creates cross contamination concerns; industry standards are to separate any hazardous materials and blood borne pathogens from the living quarters. The Police Department has zero decontamination or shower facilities. During the course of their duties, staff from both departments are exposed to carcinogens, blood and body fluids, mud, snow, dirt and rain without the ability to properly decontaminate.
Fixing the deficiencies would be very expensive, for example the roof truss repair is estimated at well over $400,000. The space in the police department is inadequate to address the lack of security, state mandated standards, professional requirements to meet accreditation and other space needs. To meet these standards for the police, a different location would be required. Addressing only a partial list of the deficiencies will still not provide buildings that meet standards of essential facility requirements. The proposed Public Safety building is designed to meet these standards, be efficient and serve the public safety needs of the community for the next 50 years.
The Task Force looked at various locations when assessing the best site of the Public Safety building. The current location of the fire department is centrally located and provides the best response times to any area of Sunriver. It is also more cost effective to remodel the existing fire station to accommodate both departments rather than building a new facility on a different site. The coordination between SROA Administration and the SSD is very valuable and locating in close proximity allows for collaboration to better serve the community.
The Sunriver Fire and Police Departments have an incredible relationship, and the goal of the Public Safety Building is to foster this dynamic. Some of the shared resources include administrative/reception areas, fitness room, training and conference rooms. The upgrades required for police cannot be accomplished in the current space. Finding another location off the main campus will add to the overall cost and efficiencies will be lost. The other benefit will be for SROA to regain additional space in their administrative building, negating the need to create and fund space elsewhere for their operation.
Starting and stopping a project is sometimes more expensive in the long run. It also has the potential to be more disruptive to the operation of providing public safety to the community. The work to find adequate funding with community education and support is an important task. It is believed that available financing, grants, and reserves are sufficient to move forward with the full project in the near future. Interest rates are currently very favorable and there are opportunities for assistance with other sources of funding now. It’s unknown if that will be true in the future.
Yes, the site plans contain two conference rooms open for public use. One is larger and will have a small kitchenette attached for catering or meal preparation. These are multipurpose rooms that each department will be able to use for training, meetings and operate as an Emergency Operations Center.
The current estimate of remodeling the fire station to create a Police & Fire Public Safety Building is $16 - $18 million. There are several factors that could impact that number to include land/building acquisition costs, amount of outside funding obtained, amount of debt service the District can afford, etc. Currently the District is looking at funds from the Deschutes County room tax fund, SROA partnering with a transfer of ownership, use of District reserves and a potential 10-year capital levy.
Current analysis indicates the new Public Safety Building could easily last 50 years serving the public safety needs of the community.
SROA maintenance fees are not a part of the funds that support the Sunriver Service District (Police and Fire departments). Sunriver homeowner property taxes provide the operating funds for both departments. The current millage rate is $3.31/$1,000 of assessed valuation, which has not been increased in 10 years. Voters may be asked to support the project through a 10-year Capital Levy to provide debt service for the remodel project.
No. Currently the district boundaries are Sunriver proper (inside the fence). Caldera and Crosswater are served by other police and fire agencies. Any changes in who serves these developments would come at the request of the residents of those areas.