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$149M Seattle police station comes with amphitheater, yoga room

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Opponents of the expensive police station plan won’t like hearing about all the amenities included

If you don’t already have an opinion on the proposed North Precinct Police Station, you certainly will soon.

Tempers have flared in recent discussions about the $149 million police project, which would be the most expensive in the nation. The city council recently ensured that the public will not vote on approving it and then voted 7-1 in favor of moving forward with the precinct earlier this week. They did so despite strong opposition from the Black Lives Matter movement and many other neighborhood and city concerns. In a rare show of united thinking across the city, even the Seattle Times editorial board came out against the station, noting that a city desperate for more affordable housing and improved infrastructure could put the money there instead.

The city has laid out it’s case for needing the new station, saying that the current situation does a woeful job helping police do their job.

It’s one thing to say that the police deserve to have a modern station from which to conduct their jobs effectively and efficiently. What’s not going to help matters is the list of amenities that are included in the plans, many of which don’t seem entirely necessary given the state of things.

There’s also plans for a lighting features, a geothermal heating system, and a landscaped roof garden.

While you could make a decent case for why all of these things are relevant, put head-to-head with the many needs of Seattle’s citizens makes many of them seem downright frivolous.

As Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times points out, it seems like the police station is trying to be ten different things at once. And, again, there might be a time when that makes a lot of sense. But it’s hard to convince those who can barely afford to live in Seattle or those who have had tough times dealing with Seattle police that this all constitutes the best use of taxpayer money.

The debate will rage on, we’re sure.