Thank you for your advocacy regarding the new North Seattle Precinct police station.
On Monday, August 15th, the Seattle City Council took action passing a resolution to re-shape and provide much needed guidance regarding the new station moving forward. Replacing the failing station is a necessary, Seattle’s City Charter clearly calls out public safety as an essential governmental duty. Although the planning for this station started in 2012, and was identified as a need as far back as 1998, the project needed better direction regarding the function and the price.
The new police station had been studied and approved by the previous council in prior years. As recently as August of 2015 the council voted unanimously to pass Council Bill (CB) 118474 that allocated $2.7 million for planning a design specifically for a $160 million station. However, I along with my colleagues believe the cost is too high. We have been working with the Finance Administration Services Department (FAS) to identify ways to bring the cost down, so far we have found over $10 million in potential cost savings. When we started hearing from constituents that they were deeply concerned about the project’s cost, Councilmember Gonzalez decided to write a resolution to clearly detail the City Council’s commitments and intent regarding this project. I was proud to co-sponsor the resolution.
- Requires city departments to use the Racial Equity Toolkit to analyze the current and future state of the project
- Establishes a 3rd party financial review of the project
- Removes commitment to a specific dollar amount for the project and allows the council to maintain cost flexibility during the budget process
- Expresses a council intent to use the site of the current precinct or proceeds from the sale of the current site for affordable housing
- Establishes an expectation that the new facility will be designed to address critical components of the Federal consent decree specifically regarding relationship building between the SPD and the community, and will accommodate increased training for officers
This resolution is a step forward in the process of replacing the current overcrowded facility. There is more work to be done to ensure all the commitments made Monday come to pass. I am also excited to continue working with the Finance and Administrative Services Department to find ways to lower the cost of the station while retaining its core public safety functionality.
Thank you again for your interest in this project. I appreciate the opportunity to share this update with you.