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Apex Council Votes for New Police Station; Tax Rate Increase Possible

Posted January 23, 2008

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— Taxes may be going up in Apex because the town needs to raise more than $9 million for a new police station.

It would be the town's first tax-rate increase in more than 20 years.

Apex Police Chief Jack Lewis said the aging police station is too small, unsafe and not secure.

"Once they are in here, there is a lot of access issues to the building," Lewis said.

If a person wanted to access what should be a restricted area, like the Investigative Division, they could walk right in, he said.

"You would like to have a little better level of secure control than that,” Lewis said.

It is not only easy to get into the station's so-called secure areas, the chief said at least one suspect has escaped in handcuffs.

Town leaders met Wednesday night to discuss expanding the police station to twice its size at a cost of more than $9 million.

"We do have money in the general fund. If that defers a tax increase, I'm for using that,” Apex Council Member Bill Sutton said.

The town council voted 4-1 to move forward with the expansion.

Apex is also considering building a new fire station, and that project could mean higher taxes as well.

The tax hike will be up for debate when the Apex Town Council sets next year's budget over the summer.

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  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 24, 2008

    LOL - those poles sure do look funny. But I'm sure it's not a big deal to move them.

    As far as the peakway, they can't run it past Salem street (and across the railroad tracks) until they close another road crossing over those tracks. This is a (CSX) railroad requirement. I'm thinking they will close the Moore street crossing in downtown.

    I'm not sure if that is what's holding up Trackside or not.

  • TeamHatteras Jan 24, 2008

    What ever happened to the proposed Trackside development? A lot of revenue going to waste by not starting that project. Are they waiting to run the Peakway through from Salem to Laura Duncan before they start? Of course, that would mean they would have to remove those power poles they paved around at the intersection of the Peakway and Salem Street. Dang, who dropped the ball on THAT screw up?

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 24, 2008

    I have to take exception to the folks who are saying that Apex is looking for an excuse to raise taxes. I've been living in Apex for 12 years now and that goes back far enough to before the growth really started. Around 2000 or so, Apex put the brakes on growth so that they could ensure that it was done properly and that the infrastructure would be in place.

    All this was done without raising taxes, in fact, at one point taxes were _lowered_. Utility rates also went down during this time period. I give kudos to Apex gov't on how they have handled things.

    We also got a big, new town hall - the police station is the old town hall!

    We also got a new community center, in fact, it was expanded to basically double its original size.

    We also got a lot of new tax revenue from the many, many new homes and businesses which have gone up. So I would also agree that the town should try and live within its means if possible.

    But, come on, we need to recognize how much Apex has done right!

  • peakofgoodliving Jan 24, 2008

    Tinyboy I think you should send your extra money...I'm sure Keithyboy would gladly take it and more. However, some of us living in Apex realize the infrastructure is more than adequate and we see this for the waste that it really is.

  • TeamHatteras Jan 24, 2008

    Perhaps they can build an extra office with it's own little kitchen and separate phone line and they can relocate that officer that sits in front of Apex High every morning with his emergency lights flashing as he's eating Bo-berry biscuits and yapping on the phone totally oblivious to the mayhem that he is helping to create directly outside his rear-view mirror.

    Without any kind of crossing guard or traffic light, a kid is going to get killed trying to weave their way through the traffic jam-up of minivans and SUVs. And for the Apex police to think that a patrol car, idling on shoulder of the road amidst the morning mayhem with emergency lights flashing is not some kind of serious distraction to motorists trying to spot teenagers jumping out across the road? Well, that's just plain ignorant.

  • chargernut69 Jan 24, 2008

    ....guess they need to find some excuse to raise taxes.

  • deked53414 Jan 24, 2008

    Apex has grown significantly in the past 20 years, and the fact that they've been fiscally responsible enough to not raise tax rates during that time is commendable. I can't disagree with Steve Crisp that the town should 'live within its means' but this action seems to be well-thought out, in contrast to many other civic building projects (Raleigh convention center, anyone?). As much as I'd rather not see my tax rate go up, I won't complain about a responsible increase for valid reasons.

    That being said, the tax increase has not even yet been voted on/approved. We don't know if it will happen (most likely will, IMO), or how much it will be.

  • tinyboy Jan 24, 2008

    LET'S SEE TAXE INCREASE ASKED WOULD BE $60.00 A YEAR ON A $200,OOO HOME DONT SEEN 2 BAD TO ME AND TOWN HAS NEVER HAD A TAX INCRESE IN 20 YEARS QUIT CRYING !!!!

  • Steve Crisp Jan 24, 2008

    Here's what irks me. Say I want to buy a house. The price of that house and the monthly payment needs to fit within my existing budget or I do not get the house. Why is it so difficult for a city to live within its existing means as well? But they think they can just do whatever they want and simply raise taxes to pay for it. How about showing some fiscal restraint from time to time?

  • sandiandbuster Jan 24, 2008

    As a proptery owner in Apex I mind if only the property owners are paying more.

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