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Board discusses lease for police headquarters

When it’s finally built, a 370,000-square-foot complex will house the Metropolitan Police Department but will have Clark County’s name on the lease.

Commissioners agreed Tuesday that the county should lease the site from Project Alta LLC, a development group that will build the headquarters at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Alta Drive. Earlier plans called for Metro to rent the complex.

Because the county hopes to buy the complex in three years, it simplifies matters to step in now as a tenant, County Manager Virginia Valentine said.

Las Vegas police would pay the county for operating costs, estimated at $15 million for the first year.

At least some of that money would be recycled because the county pays about 60 percent of the police department’s overhead. The city of Las Vegas covers 40 percent.

The county and city still must negotiate some sticking points, Valentine said.

County leaders have argued that the city should pay 100 percent of the cost on 70,000 square feet of the site instead of just 40 percent. That’s because the city now supplies the police department with that amount of space in City Hall and, by law, must pay the full tab on new space it creates of equal size to house the police, officials say.

Commissioners also have expressed concerns about the site falling within the city’s redevelopment area. Developers would pay property taxes into the city’s redevelopment fund, leaving out the county.

The county might let the city slide on paying the full cost of the 70,000 square feet if the city uses its redevelopment money to help cover the operating costs, Valentine said.

 

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