The Dec. 28 groundbreaking ceremony for Grantsville City’s new $3.6 million justice center was called a “milestone” by Grantsville Mayor Brent Marshall and a “momentous occasion” by Grantsville Police Chief Kevin Turner.
Such pronouncements are often said by officials while extolling — or justifying — the virtues of a new government building. But in this case, Marshall and Turner don’t need to justify.
The 12,947-square-foot facility is needed for the city’s police department and justice court, both of which outgrew space at City Hall long ago. It also wasn’t a rushed decision or done behind closed doors. Instead, it’s the result of due diligence and holding the line on costs to create a win-win solution for the city.
The due diligence started over two years ago when Marshall and Turner began a hard look at possibly building a new justice center. By May 2015 the project started to be openly discussed at city council meetings and gained traction. After that came more than a year of planning, most of which was reported in the Transcript Bulletin.
Holding the line on costs followed when Marshall, Turner and the city council established how much the city could afford. When initial bids came in higher than $3.6 million, both men and the city council worked to eliminate or cut back items to get the cost closer within budget.
Next, the city sought funding it could afford, using a $2.7 million loan from the state’s Community Impact Board at 2.5 percent for 30 years. The remainder of the justice center’s cost will be paid for by using $400,000 in public safety impact fees, which are generated from building permits, and $500,000 from the general fund’s reserve fund. A tax increase to help pay for the facility was never publicly on the table.
When finished, what the city and citizens are supposed to get is a facility that features a courtroom, a joint service lobby for police and courts, patrol office areas, secure interview rooms, a multipurpose training and community room, and an ancillary building for vehicle and bulk evidence storage.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Turner said he hopes the new justice center “will be a beacon to the community where we can do training and classes, and have community programs where we can come together and keep building our bond and relationship with the citizens of our great city.”
With that said, the new justice center is more than a new home for police and justice court; all of Grantsville is welcome there, too. And that makes good sense, for as Grantsville continues to grow, the community bond Turner mentioned may play a vital part in helping the city and its residents keep crime in check.
If there is a downside to the project, it is the location. Such a noble edifice should be prominently featured on Grantsville’s Main Street. But the city saved money by using 2.7 acres of city-owned land north of City Hall and the Grantsville City Library on Bowery Street.
Grantsville’s new justice center promises to be a valuable asset the community can proudly call its own. City Hall and citizens are congratulated on making a worthwhile project become reality.