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Readers comments 7-23-21

Claremont’s PD facility a disgrace
Dear editor:

The police department facility on Bonita Avenue is a disgrace for Claremont. Surrounding cities have already built new police facilities.

It’s time to protect those who protect us, 24/7, 365 days, year after year. The Claremont PD building is in dire need to be retrofitted NOW, not next year or two years from now. The recent collapse of the building in Florida was due to ignoring the many reports of structural weakness; this is precisely what Claremont is doing.

Three previous PD facility committees met with a total of four architect and engineer consulting firms. All found the need to re-build or retrofit; this was years ago and nothing has been done to date. The walls supporting the two-foot-thick concrete roof/ceiling need to be stabilized, lest the entire roof collapses and kills or seriously injures those in the building. A quake, tremor, or after shock could cause this disaster.

All four consulting firms found that inside this 50-year-old building was asbestos, mold, 50-year-old wiring and plumbing. OSHA has reviewed the facility and reported findings. All this material is available at the police department and should be found at city hall. To date, nothing has been done to make the PD facility safe for anyone entering its doors.

The city should consider the possibility that if we don’t fix the building there could be costly lawsuits. All the facts on file favor any plaintiff, the city would be blamed for ignoring the facts.

I believe there is $6 million from the government that could start the retrofit project. The rest of the funding will need creative planning. It needs to be done.

A history of the past three police facility committees includes:
1st — a $50 million bond to build onto the building on Monte Vista = failed
2nd — a $25 million bond for a new facility on current property = failed
3rd — $18.3 million (combination retro-fitting and new building) presented to the council in 2019 = never discussed, never went to public as a bond, the plan disappeared.

Appointing a 4th committee would be nonsensical and delay progress. During the council’s August vacation, I hope each spends time thinking about a plan to begin the process to protect and provide safety for our police department.

I request that the police facility be on the agenda during a September council meeting with the council discussing (1) a plan for immediate retrofitting, and (2) a future plan for a new or adapted building.

After three committees and four consulting firms, there is ample information to plan and act right NOW.

Joyce Sauter, 50-year resident, member of the third police facility committee, member of the PD community patrol

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