Tuesday, December 19, 2000
Steamboat Springs Routt County Chief Judge Richard P. Doucette told the Routt County Commission Tuesday not to pass up putting a bond issue for a new court building on the 2001 ballot.
The commissioners had contemplated waiting another year to put a bond issue on the ballot to build the new building for county courtrooms and staff where the Visiting Nurse Association is now across Sixth Street from the current court building.
In other business at the county commission meeting Monday and Tuesday: The commissioners approved hiring a personnel administrative assistant for the personnel director at $12.06 an hour. The commissioners signed an airline ground handling license agreement between Routt County and Phoenix Airline Services Inc. The commissioners signed a non-tenant use agreement between Routt County and Denver Helicopter Services Inc. for a commercial aeronautical business. The commissioners signed an off-airport rental car operator license and use agreement between Routt County and Rains Automotive Group Inc. doing business as Dollar Rent-A-Car. The commissioners accepted a bid for the replacement of a generator on the E-One crash truck at Yampa Valley Regional Airport for $6,823. The commissioners signed a partial release of security for Catamount Development Inc. for work completed at Catamount Ranch worth $3.8 million. The commissioners appointed Chuck Vale, Steve Hilley and Mel Stewart as Regional Emergency Trauma Advisory Council. Dan Ellison, Dave Cionne and Bryan Rickman are the alternates.
Doucette told the commissioners he didn't think the court building and staff could wait another year.
"For more than a decade now, we've been trying to deal with the overcrowding of the courts," Doucette said after he met with the commissioners. "The court facilities are simply inadequate for the current needs."
He said the clerk's office is too crowded, the ceiling is leaking and the hallway is too narrow.
The ingress and egress of the defendants at the courtroom also is inadequate, Doucette said.
Sometimes, the jurors have to walk by the defendants sitting in the hallway.
"The only thing that would stop us from putting it on the ballot (next year) is if we feel that we're not ready," Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.
The commissioners will have to figure out what the old court facilities would be used for, and they have to make sure the voters will be properly prepared to decide on the issue.
Stahoviak said the plan to build a new building would be set back if voters didn't pass it, forcing the county to wait campaigning another year.
The avoid that, Stahoviak said the county wants to have the time to properly educate the public on the issue.
Commissioners Dan Ellison and Ben Beall are currently interviewing architects for the building job.
By the first of the year, an architect should be hired.
After that, the commissioners will be able to estimate the cost of the building and decide if they are prepared to put the bond issue on the ballot in 2001, Stahoviak said.