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Arroyo Grande council puts cop HQ to vote

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Arroyo Grande leaders really want a new police station.

The Arroyo Grande City Council voted unanimously at its Jan. 24 meeting to put a bond issue on the ballot to build a new police station. If approved, the bond would raise $6.7 million for the construction; if passed, it would pay for most of the cost of a new $8.3 million police station. The present station was acquired from a phone company in 1973 and is now considered too small for the size of the force.

This isn’t the first time the City Council tried to get the public to pony up for a police station; a similar bond referendum was rejected in June 2010.

This time, the council is holding out a carrot: The new building would likely help Arroyo Grande merge its police force with Grover Beach’s, a move that would save an estimated $400,000 for each city. If the police forces merge, Grover Beach would contribute lease payments to help pay its share.

Arroyo Grande Police Chief Steven N. Annibali said a new station is an urgent necessity and would help with unifying the two city’s police forces.

“In my experience, working under one roof makes the consolidation process work more smoothly,” Annibali told city councilmembers.

Though the language and date of the bond referendum will go before the council Feb. 14, councilmembers seemed to be leaning toward scheduling the bond measure for the June primary election.

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