The Public Safety Building Task Force was bestowed the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) Volunteers of the Year Award at the annual conference February 9-12, 2023. The Task Force was created in the summer of 2021 and includes 10 volunteer community members: Bill Hepburn, John Ralston, Dennis Dishaw, Ron Schmid, Jim Fister, John Salzer, Doug Seator, Harry Hamilton, Peter Martell, and Clark Pederson.
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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 it is 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 an emergency.
The Police department is part of the SROA Administrative office building, lacking appropriate security throughout. It has no space for victim/suspect interviews; they are currently held in the employee breakroom. The department does not have a secure suspect holding room, space for an intoxilyzer nor an area or booking/fingerprinting. Therefore, officers are out of service transporting suspects to the Deschutes County jail in Bend or the substation in La Pine for booking. There is not an adequate area for evidence processing and storage. Additionally, there are no back-up generators in the department.
Both departments lack adequate decontamination areas. The Fire Department literally hoses firefighters off in the apparatus bays before going to the living quarters. 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.
· After architectural programing, the professional cost estimate of a remodel/addition of the current Fire Station will not exceed $18 million.
· The cost will be offset by the District's contribution from existing reserves, essentially a down payment, of $3 million.
· The cost is further offset by an $8 million grant from Deschutes County from excess Transient Room Tax (TRT) funds.
· The balance of $7 million will be borrowed from a financial institution at a low tax-exempt interest rate and repaid over ten years.
· The debt will be repaid with the proceeds of a voter approved 10-year Capital Improvement levy, essentially spreading the financial impact over a 10-year period.
· Sunriver registered voters approved Measure #9-144 (the 10-year Capital Improvement levy) on May 17, 2022.
· The levy will be $.47 per $1,000 of tax assessed valuation. For example, a Sunriver home tax assessed value of $400,000 will see an increase in their yearly property taxes of $188.
· The levy on Sunriver real property will be for 10 years and then it will sunset. It is possible to end sooner if the debt is retired early.
· This levy is in addition to the recurring Service District annual tax assessment.
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 Public Safety building is designed to meet these standards, be efficient and serve the public safety needs of the community for the next 30-50 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 a great 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.
Yes, the plans contain a larger multi purpose room, which will have a small kitchenette attached for catering or meal preparation. In addition, each department will be able to use it for training, meetings and operate as an Emergency Operations Center.
Current analysis indicates the new Public Safety Building could easily last 30-50 years serving the public safety needs of the community.
No. SROA and the Service District are separate entities. SROA is a private HOA and funded by annual assessments. The District is a public agency funded by property taxes.
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.
The District encourages community input to ensure that if this project moves forward, it will be a successful collaboration of all Sunriver stakeholders. Information and progress about the Public Safety Building can be found at www.sunriversd.org. Please email email@example.com any questions or feedback.
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