Gilbert Town Council moves ahead on expanded police dispatch center

Gilbert Town Council
Laurin Hendrix (left) joined Gilbert Town Council members (from left) Aimee Yentes, Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski, Mayor Scott Anderson, Kathy Tilque, Scott September and Jared Taylor on the dais Nov. 10. (Tom Bllodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Laurin Hendrix (left) joined Gilbert Town Council members (from left) Aimee Yentes, Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski, Mayor Scott Anderson, Kathy Tilque, Scott September and Jared Taylor on the dais Nov. 10. (Tom Bllodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Gilbert Town Council unanimously approved an allocation of $8 million in the town’s federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money to expand its police dispatch center.

The action came on a night when Laurin Hendrix, newly elected to a 26-month term, joined council on the dais for the first time. Council also recognized Bill Spence for his eight months of service on council and Lisa Maxwell upon her retirement as the town clerk after 8 1/2 years.

The dispatch center, located in the town’s public safety complex, is about 4,500 square feet but is cramped, does not have room for offices, has inadequate training space and no space for a “decompression” room where dispatchers can retreat after particularly stressful calls, dispatch manager Kim Weber told council.

Under the plan for the expansion, the center will be expanded with space from two adjacent rooms. A competitive request for qualifications process will start in December, and construction is expected to take place between September 2022 and April 2023.

Council Member Aimee Yentes, who chaired a subcommittee on spending the town’s CARES Act money, said she supported the measure as in line with the money’s mission to support public safety and would accelerate the timeline for meeting a need in town.

In other actions:

  • Council approved three contracts to start working toward a reconstruction of the town’s North Water Treatment Plant, which is expected to handle about 70% of the town’s water supply at build-out.

  • Council approved on a 4-3 vote change orders to two projects in the Heritage Center area to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Council Member Jared Taylor questioned the cost of the change orders and whether the work was needed to meet compliance. He was joined by Yentes and Hendrix in dissenting votes.

  • Council voted to recommend denial to a Series 10 beer and wine liquor license application for Joey Smoke Shop, 1111 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. Police urged the denial in light of possible felony charges against applicant Christopher Robin filed by the Scottsdale Police Department with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. However, the council’s recommendation only is advisory to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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