Melbourne voters have approved financing a new police headquarters facility with general obligation bonds.
The funds will be used to construct a centralized, efficient, 21st century police station that will consolidate the all police operations — including the 911-Communications Center and the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) — that are currently split between two buildings located 1.8 miles apart.
“I am ecstatic that our community has approved the funds for a new police headquarters,” said Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie. “Our residents deserve a building that reflects the investment they have made in our police department. This will be a state-of-the-art facility that will move us into the future. I am proud to work for a community that supports its police department and makes public safety one of its top priorities.”
Work to secure financing for the project will begin right away. City financial services staff estimate that this process should be completed by the spring of 2019. Design and bidding should be completed by October 2019, and the new police facility is expected to open in early 2021.
The new station is planned to be constructed on airport-managed property at the northeast corner of Airport Boulevard and NASA Boulevard. City staff will be working with the airport and FAA on the process needed to trade the existing police station property on Apollo Boulevard for the new station site. The Babcock Street property will be sold once employees are moved to the new location.
Total cost for the new facility — including design, construction, furnishings and equipment — is estimated to be up to $35 million. The annual debt service on the general obligation bond is estimated to be $2.5 million.
Revenue raised from general obligation bonds can only be used for the specific purpose of land acquisition, designing, constructing and outfitting the police facility — it cannot be used for anything else. Financing the design and construction of this facility through a general obligation bond will provide funding for the facility while also allowing for the City to maintain existing levels of service for other operations.
The additional millage required to fund the estimated $2.5 million annual debt service cost will be approximately 0.5998 mills. Based upon current financing rates, a homeowner with a taxable property value of $50,000 will pay approximately $2.50 per month.
More information about the project is available at www.melbourneflorida.org/consolidated-police-facility.