Question 1: Public Safety Training Facility

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En español

The Mayor and Town Council of Gilbert, Arizona are requesting authorization to issue general obligation bonds in the principal amount not to exceed $65,350,000 to be repaid from secondary (ad valorem) property taxes to fund the construction of the Fire and Police Public Safety Training Facility to be located within the Town. The total estimated cost of construction for the facility is $84.6 million including utilities, permitting and site improvements. If the Bonds are approved, the remaining balance of $19.6 million for the construction of the Fire and Police Public Safety Training Facility will be funded by the Town.

The Town has a responsibility to provide for the overall safety of the community. From 2000 to 2018, the Town has more than doubled in population, growing from 109,697 to over 247,000 residents who call Gilbert home. This growth in population brings an increased demand for public safety services.

In planning for the Fire and Police Public Safety Training Facility, the Town evaluated current public safety needs from the community, anticipated future public safety needs, and the training standards and requirements for Gilbert fire fighters and police officers. This evaluation included whether the Town could reliably fulfill its training needs both in the short- and longterm. The Town does not have its own training facility for fire or police so it has to borrow time and space in the training facilities of other cities, whose own public safety demands are growing. These other cities are unable to guarantee the consistent and long-term access to their facilities to continue providing for Gilbert’s public safety training needs.

According to demographic projections, the Town is expected to add more than 80,000 new residents over the next decade. However, in the next seven years, the Gilbert police and fire departments project a potential loss of up to 84% of its sworn personnel to traditional and non-traditional retirement and attrition rates. The average years of public safety experience that would be lost upon retirement is 25.75 years. Replacing this loss of experienced personnel will require adequate and ongoing training for the Town’s existing and newly-hired police officers and fire fighters.

To develop an accurate cost estimate for this project, Town staff undertook the following steps:

  1. Developed a preliminary engineering report for the entire proposed facility including geotechnical investigation of the site, traffic data collection, utility needs and conflicts, driver training track configuration and other related infrastructure needs;
  2. Researched, reviewed and met with both staff and contractors from multiple training facilities in the region and in other states to identify best practices and lessons learned in the design and construction of this type of facility;
  3. Paid for the facility design and for the construction documents to identify and establish key parameters for the complex and highly technical components of the facility;
  4. Conducted a three-day efficiency workshop at the beginning of the design process to prioritize critical needs and eliminate inefficient options and solutions; and
  5. Performed independent cost estimation to verify that the construction estimates are in-line with the market.

This pamphlet contains more information about the bond election.

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