Council certifies Prop 1 election; cop shop bond passes

At a special meeting on Monday, the Homer City Council certified the results of last week’s special election for Prop 1, an election to approve up to $5 million in bonds to finance a new Homer Police Department station.

With absentee, special needs and other ballots counted by the Canvass Board on Friday, June 29, the vote approving Prop 1 easily kept its lead. Final results showed 505 yes votes, 289 no votes, or 64 to 36 percent. The voter turnout was 17 percent or 808 of 4,782 registered voters.

The vote also approved raising Homer sales taxes by 0.35 percent from 4.5 percent to 4.85 percent, or 35 cents for every $100 dollar spent. When the bond is paid off, the only extra sales tax that will remain will be 0.05 percent, or 5 cents for every $100 spent, to fund maintenance of the police station. Based on 2016 sales tax revenue, the new tax would raise about $609,000 a year.

The new police station will be built on city land at the southeast corner of Heath Street and Grubstake Avenue above the Homer Post Office. Scaled back from an earlier proposal where voters defeated a bond of up to $12 million, the new building will be 11,500-square feet, with a 4,200-square-foot daylight basement. It will include a six-cell community jail, expanded evidence storage, officer and dispatcher office space, a training room and a sally port to transfer prisoners from police cruisers to the jail.

The next step in construction is a complete design of the new station. An ordinance to pay for a 100 percent of the station design is up for second reading and a public hearing on the Homer City Council agenda for Monday, July 23, in the Cowles Council Chambers at Homer City Hall.