Few citizens attend Lehi City public safety complex input meeting

Donna Barnes | Lehi Free Press

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Former Broadbent’s property and surrounding area

Only a handful of citizens expressed opinions about the projected new Lehi Public Safety Complex to be built on the block just east of the Lehi City Offices in a meeting held October 24 in City Council Chambers. A power point presentation prepared by Curtis Miner Architecture illustrated Lehi’s historical heritage showing iconic buildings such as the Lehi Tabernacle, old school buildings, Broadbent’s General Store, and turn of the century views of Lehi’s Main Street.

“We want to capture the fabric of the community and get a historical perspective as we design the new complex,” said Curtis Miner. He mentioned the work his firm did in designing the old Star Flour Mill in American Fork.

Dallas Nelson, an associate with Curtis Miner Architecture, spoke to the purpose of the complex, “We have to look at the purpose of the complex. We want to have an energy efficient building and it has to have specific safety features.” Jay Adams of Dynamic Structures, the firm that will build the complex said, “This is a public safety building. It needs to stand long enough in a natural disaster to get occupants out. There are specific design criteria that must be met in this type of building.” Lehi Chief of Police Darren Paul, added, “The EOC (Emergency Operation Center) needs to be up and running during emergencies.” Community safety was emphasized by City leaders as the number one priority.

Experts have determined the current Broadbent’s is not a structurally viable building, and while it must come down, architectural features may be incorporated into the new building to accentuate Lehi’s history.

The public was invited to ask questions and give input on more than a dozen items related to the safety complex. There were few participants in this exercise.

Annie Baum, a great-granddaughter of John and Alice Broadbent, who lives in close proximity to the complex had questions about parking. Baum said, “There must be separation between houses and families and the public safety complex. There was a police training at the current police station and the dogs were barking. It was 10 p.m. before it was over. There are still people who live here.” Miner responded, “Most of the building will be on the southwest corner of the block. There will be landscape buffering and secure police parking.”

Ron Smith, former Lehi mayor and lifetime Lehi resident, asked, “If Lehi grows to 100,000 people will the complex be adequate?” A city staff member responded, “It is planned to be adequate for the next 40 years.”

All properties on the site of the complex but two have been purchased by Lehi City according to Mayor Mark Johnson. The site as proposed will occupy about 2.6 acres.

A resident asked when the City would start demolishing the homes around the Broadbent property. “After hazardous materials have been cleaned up the demolition will begin, probably in the next couple of months,” said a City staffer. “The entire project will take about one and a half years.” A question was asked about the use of the current police station after the new one is complete, “It will be re-purposed,” said Mayor Johnson.

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