Why Build a New Law & Justice Center?
The Selah police station facility is currently rented from a commercial landlord, it is location at 622 South First Street, and it is too small to provide for the proper operation of a modern police facility. Traffic on South First Street during peak times hinder officers entering onto the street and increases response times to emergency calls. Public access is also challenging.
Selah’s municipal court is located in City Hall, and prisoner transference into the court room is not ideal. Parking for the court is also deficient for those in attendance.
The Selah City Council has determined that a new Law and Justice Center on land owned by the City, located at 303 West Naches Avenue, will reduce emergency response times and improve public access. A new facility will improve the police department’s safety and security by proving soundproof interview rooms, confidential workspaces and a secure entrance for detainee transport. The proposed new facility will also contain a modern court room that will provide space for attorneys to meet with clients, a jury room, and allow safer delivery of detainees. The court room will also be used for the City Council chambers. Ample parking will be provided.
Funding: Law and Justice Center Bond
The City of Selah seeks voter approval for financing its law and justice facility. The existing police station is not owned by the City, and is obligated to a “triple-net” lease which includes monthly rent, all property taxes, and all building improvements. The municipal court is currently housed inside City Hall. Existing facilities do not meet law enforcement’s needs in an era of modern policing, or municipal court operations. Proceeds of the bonds will be used to construct a modern law and justice facility on City owned land located on W. Naches Ave. Without voter approval, the City does not have the funding to pay for this project. The bonds would mature within 30 years and be paid by annual excess property taxes.
The average levy rate is estimated to be $0.53/$1,000 of assessed property value or, for a home with an assessed property value of $300,000, approximately $159/year or $13.25/month.
What Happens if the Bond is Approved?
If approved, this proposition would authorize up to $12,700,000 of general obligation bonds that would mature within a maximum of 31 years and be repaid from annual excess property tax levies at an estimated rate of 53 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or $13.25 per month for a $300,000 home. For information regarding tax exemptions available to certain low-income homeowners, please contact the Yakima County Assessor’s Office.
For more information please contact the Selah Police Department at 509-698-7347.