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Escondido Opens $60 Million Police, Fire HQ

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Aired 5/3/10

Escondido has opened a new $60 million building that will serve as the headquarters for its police and fire departments. The decision to build the complex was made before the city’s economy took a dive.

Escondido has opened a new $60 million building that will serve as the headquarters for its police and fire departments. The decision to build the complex was made before the city’s economy took a dive.

Escondido has had to slash its budget as sales tax revenues have fallen during the recession. But the decision to move forward with the public safety complex was made in 2004 when city voters passed Proposition P.

The bond provided $84 million for the construction of the combined headquarters and four city fire stations. John Houchin is the Project Manager for the Escondido Police Department. He says the headquarters will save money in the long run.

“We wanted to build a station that would be serviceable for this community for the next 50 years. Rather than build something that was undersized or not functional, where in 20 years, you’d have to go back to the public and say, 'gee, we missed the mark,”' he said.

Houchin says a lot of planning went into the project. He says he’s confident the city will be able to pay to operate the new facilities now that they’re open. Staff will begin moving into the new headquarters in about two weeks. It should be operational at the end of the month.

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