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Police, fire projects prioritized for Phoenix's proposed bond money

A committee recommends Phoenix spend about $83 million on improving fire emergency response times if voters were to approve a proposed bond program.

PHOENIX — >> Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast. <<

A special committee recommends the City of Phoenix spend $83 million of a proposed bond initiative on reducing emergency response times by upgrading multiple fire stations. 

After holding several public meetings over the last few months, the city's GO Bond Executive Committee has submitted a list of capital projects that should be prioritized if voters authorize a $500 million bond program.

The committee recommends Phoenix spend about a quarter of the proposed bond money on public safety projects, which includes expanding facilities used by the Phoenix Fire Department.  

The recommendation is to add more space at three existing fire stations throughout Phoenix in order to accommodate extra supplies and personnel that could help the city reduce its response times. 

Fire officials have said the Valley's burgeoning population has increased the city's 911 call volume over the last decade. 

"The safety of our public is in danger if this crisis isn't addressed," Fire Capt. Tim Knobbe told the bond committee earlier this year.

United Phoenix Firefighters Association has previously said the city's average response time is nearing nine minutes, which is much longer than the industry standard of five minutes.

"With those response times, that is unacceptable in a city our size and we are growing," said Rick DeGraw, a member of the public safety bond committee, during a meeting earlier this year.

Credit: City of Phoenix
A breakdown of how the bond committee thinks Phoenix should spend the $500 million.

In a recent letter to the city council, the bond committee has recommended improving the following stations:

  • Station #7 at 7th Street and Hatcher Road 
  • Station #13 at 44th Street and Thomas Road 
  • Station #15 at 45th Avenue and Camelback Road

Each station upgrade is estimated to cost $21 million and generate an ongoing cost of $3.7 million. The committee also recommends allocating $18 million in bond funds to building a new station in north Phoenix near 51st Avenue and State Route 303.

The bond committee was tasked with identifying the most pressing capital needs in Phoenix that would cost, in total, less than $500 million.

Other projects recommended by the committee include the following:

  • Renovation of Maryvale's police precinct ($3M)
  • Relocation of Cactus Park police precinct ($37M)
  • Renovation of police property warehouse ($9M)
  • Construction of new recreation center at Esteban Park ($5M)
  • Construction of the Latino Cultural Center ($21M)
  • Providing a permanent home for Valley Youth Theatre ($14M)
  • Children's Museum of Phoenix expansion ($5M)

The Phoenix City Council will review the committee's recommendations during a meeting on Dec. 13. If approved, residents will be expected to vote on the bond program during a special election in 2023.

More information about the bond program can be found here.

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