Police station, city manager contract, Golden State attorneys fees pack council agenda
The Claremont city council is set to make a decision on how to fund the proposed new police station Tuesday night. Also on the packed agenda are a proposal to extend the contract for City Manager Tony Ramos to serve in an interim capacity and approval of the first installment to the Golden State Water trial legal fees.
The council will also hear results from public outreach about the proposed new station, the result of several informational meetings about the ballot measure that took place throughout the fall.
The council will also decide to place the measure on either the June 2018 ballot or the November 2018 ballot.
As of right now, the proposed ballot measure is set to cost about $25 million for a 26,000 square foot, two-story structure to be built on the same site as the current police station.
This is the second attempt at a police station ballot measure. Measure PS, which proposed a station to be built just north of the City Yard on Monte Vista Avenue for a fixed-rate parcel tax of up to $50 million, was overwhelmingly voted down in 2015.
The Claremont Police Department has been longing for a new police facility to replace to aging current structure that was built in the early 1970s. Lack of space, no locker rooms for female police officers and earthquake safety concerns are just some of the issues the department has with the current building.
The summary from the city notes states that despite the outreach efforts, only a limited amount of feedback was received. Of that feedback, views and opinions about different aspects of the station were mixed, the city said.
The city received 41 total responses from a questionnaire about the proposed police station put forth by the city—25 online and 14 written. Of the 41 respondents, 235 were in support of a police facility, 12 were against it and four were not sure, according to data from the city.
Of the 37 people who responded to a question of how the station should be funded, 18 people preferred a parcel tax based on square footage, 10 people preferred a flat parcel tax and eight people preferred a general obligation (GO) bond, the city said. One person was not sure.
The police facility ad hoc committee, who met throughout 2016 to hammer out a winning police station proposal after Measure PS failed, recommended a GO bond by a narrow 7-5 margin in July.
The city also provided answers to questions given to citizens who attended the police station meetings.
The first question asked Claremonters if they would support the building of a new police facility after hearing the presentation. Thirteen people said yes, 11 said no, and one person was not sure.
Of the 11 who answered no, three people said it was too expensive, six said it was not necessary, three said they did not want to pay a tax or a bond, three did not like the size or the design of the facility and two had other answers.
“Get your hands out of our pockets! Your current building is just fine!” wrote one respondent.
Another question asked respondents if they would support the building of a new facility if their preferred financing option were not picked. Of the 23 people who answered, 11 people said yes and 12 said no.
The respondents were then asked to share their recommendations and suggestions. Comments ran the gamut from supporting the GO bond, to a desire to see the design of the building reflect Claremont’s character, to not having a new police station at all.
One respondent asked if the fitness room was necessary, while another proposed the department sell their mobile command unit. Some respondents were in favor of the parcel tax as a way to get nonprofits and colleges to pay into the bond.
Based on the limited amount of people who took the survey, the city could not make a recommendation on how to fund the station. It would be up to the council to make a decision Tuesday night.
Golden State Water
Under the terms of the Golden State Water settlement agreement, the city of Claremont must pay $2 million by December 31, 2107, and make interest payments of $234,040 per year for 12 years on a remaining principal balance of $5,851,000. To meet the terms of the agreement, the council has been asked to appropriate $2,117,020 for the December 31 payment as well as to fund two quarterly payments of $58,510, which are due March 31, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
Interim city manager contract
This summer, City Manager Tony Ramos announced his plan to retire on December 28, 2017. The city began recruitment in mid-September for a new city manager. According to a city staff report, the council may bring forward a contract for the new city manager in early 2018. An interim city manager contract will be presented to the city council for approval Tuesday night, so that Mr. Ramos may stay on until an appropriate replacement can be found. The interim contract, which will expire June 30, 2018, has a maximum total cost of $109,263, including salary ($106,650), workers’ compensation insurance ($1,066) and Medicare costs ($1,547).
The city council will meet Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at 225 W. Second St