Public Safety Building Bond Measure Information

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Summary

The City of Puyallup is placing a bond measure to fund a new Public Safety Building and will appear in the February 2022 ballot. The bond is for $81 million, with a term of 25 years. The new building would be a modern facility and house the Police, Jail, and the Municipal Court all under one roof.  In addition to the new facility, the bond would also fund a police substation located in downtown Puyallup. The substation would be located inside City Hall on the first floor, allowing residents of downtown access to Police services.

Other features of the new building include space for all police officers and safer court rooms. Additionally, the new jail would have adequate room to separate inmates plus space for rehabilitative services such as mental health, medical, and counseling services.

The new building would be located at 600 39th Ave SE next to Central Pierce Fire & Rescue Station 72.

  1. Background
  2. Cost
  3. FAQs
  4. Building Tours & Events
  5. Documents
  6. Timeline and Key Dates
  7. Contact

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In 1968, the current Public Safety Building was established in downtown at 311 W Pioneer Avenue. At the time, Puyallup’s population was roughly 14,000. The facility was built based on the City's population size and level of law enforcement service needs at the time, which was approximately 23 police staff. The Jail was built attached to the facility and was designed to hold 21 inmates.

In this 50-year time frame, Puyallup’s population has grown to over 43,000. To meet the demands of this increase in population, the Police Department has grown to staff 68 police officers and approximately 95 total employees. The Jail now holds 52 inmates and is overcrowded. This has created issues with officers performing their duties due to overcrowded and inadequate workspace. Storage for evidence and equipment is at capacity due to the lack of space available in the current building. As a result, property and evidence storage is spread across four separate facilities within the City, creating inefficiencies for the department. Additionally, the age of the building has resulted in an increased need for constant repairs and maintenance.

In 2017, the City hired MacKenzie consulting to conduct research and provide a feasibility study for a new building. In July 2019, a report was prepared and presented to City Council, with their recommendations. The Feasibility Report can be reviewed in the Documents section of this page.

The Report proposed multiple options for a new Public Safety Building. City Council expressed interest in the 39th Ave SE option. However, they were concerned about the building costs, which was nearly $120 million. Council directed staff and the consultant to go back and research a new, lower cost option for the location. But in 2020, due to the pandemic, the project was delayed.

In 2021, the project was re-evaluated by staff and City Council, and a new cost estimate of $82.7 million was determined. The City hired consulting firm Elway Research, Inc. to conduct a public poll about a new Public Safety Building in March 2021. A total of 250 households were interviewed by phone and online, and a report was created and presented in April 2021. To view the report, please visit our Documents section.

In July 2021, the Puyallup City Council voted and approved an ordinance that would authorize a bond measure for the Public Safety Building to appear on the November 2021 ballot.  

The State of Washington requires that bond measures must obtain at least 60 percent "Yes" votes and also obtain at least 40 percent voter turnout, from the previous general election, to validate. In November 2021, the bond measure met the voter turnout threshold but received 59.3 percent "Yes" votes. Additionally, there were several hundred undervotes, which means residents neither voted "Yes" or "No." 

The City Council determined that more voter education is needed, and agreed to place the bond measure back out in 2022. In December 2021, Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing the bond to be placed on the ballot in February 2022. Council did make one change to the bond, which was the amount. The bond amount is $81 million. Net proceeds from the sale of the existing Public Safety Building would be used towards the project cost, if the bond were approved.

Disclaimer

This information is being published for educational purposes only. It is intended to educate residents about the project and to help them make an informed decision. This webpage is not an endorsement by the City of Puyallup and Puyallup Police Department.