Greg Hoch’s Public Comment to the Durango City Council March 15, 2022

Kudos to whoever in City government recognized the need for and made public the City’s written correction to Fire Chief Hal Doughty’s premature conclusion and erroneous statement that the City was all-in with the proposed relocation of the City Police Department into a refurbished former 9R Administration building during the Fire District’s FAUXrum at last Thursday’s March 10 staged event.
It is gratifying that someone from the City government recognized the need to clarify and set the record straight about the City’s participation in what I call the TajMaHal.
I recommend the City think long and hard about spending, at a minimum, $9.9 million to relocate one City Department into a building the City will not own one square inch of, and be subject to decisions about the building’s construction and financing where neither the City Council nor City residents have any representation whatsoever on the Durango Fire Protection District Board.
I further believe the Council should investigate, and then publicly explain, how the DFPD took $3.1million of City monies specifically dedicated by contract to help fund the construction of a new downtown fire station, and instead spent it all on the acquisition of a new fire headquarters.
In passing, what’s wrong with the existing fire headquarters?  Why does DFPD need a new fire headquarters?  Has any needs analysis ever been conducted, much less made public, that DFPD needs a new headquarters?
Please recognize that the City’s $3.1million financial commitment to help construct a new downtown fire station was instead spent entirely on a new fire headquarters building.  Would that not be considered a breach of the 2014 City/DFPD contact for Services?
Will someone in City government, preferably the City Council, address and explain the answers to these questions I have raised here, and if so when?
I certainly hope any answers will occur before the City makes any decision whatsoever to relocate the Police Department into this white elephant of a proposal.

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