Puzzling out public safety
While asking for an additional three weeks to make a decision, we think chances are Douglas County isn’t going to move the Sheriff’s Office into the Wool Building located just across Water Street.
The building would provide an additional 22,000 square feet for the crowded Judicial & Law Enforcement Center but it would also add $5 million to rent and move the sheriff’s office there to the already large $32 million tab to expand the center.
And that wouldn’t provide the county with more than a five-year window before it would have to come up with more space.
Last week, Cassandra Jones represented the judiciary before Douglas County commissioners, and said they would prefer to be owners rather than renters.
We think that goes for most Douglas taxpayers as well.
The center is going on 37 years and was only anticipated to last a quarter of a century. When it was completed in 1982, Douglas County was home to about 20,000 people, and a larger percentage of them lived at Lake Tahoe.
Under current circumstances defendants and witnesses can mix freely with jurors, all of whom use the same entrance.
We recognize that folks are doing some quick math in their heads as they read about the events center and wondering why that money didn’t go to the Judicial Center.
Eliminating the redevelopment area at Stateline would free up money from property tax, but that money would be split between the county, school district, the fire district and a variety of other outfits. If the additional tax revenue brought in $1 million a year, it would take 30 years to build.
Time is not on our side, and a solution doesn’t seem to be in the cards.