Justice center site undecided

Facility will be west of Steamboat


— Routt County will build its proposed justice center west of Steamboat Springs. How far west is still up in the air.

County officials have identified two sites near the Routt County Jail that could accommodate the new building. But a decision on the exact location is at least a month away.

The Routt County Board of County Commissioners isn't giving any indication of which way its decision might go.

"Both sites have issues," Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Neither location is perfect, so county officials are studying which site would better complement a building as large as 40,000 square feet.

The first site is south of the jail and is an undeveloped lot within the Curve Development Subdivision.

The second site, which is commonly referred as the Klein property, is west of the jail.

"(We're) trying to figure out which will fit the best," Monger said.

Negotiations with the owners of both properties are occurring simultaneously, County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.

Each parcel of land encompasses a little more than five acres.

The original court facility was proposed on a 0.64-acre plot in downtown Steamboat.

HLM Design, the Denver-based architectural firm that designed the project, had to be creative to squeeze a 40,000-square-foot building onto the small parcel.

The new site promises more elbowroom.

"It's going to provide our architects more flexibility," Stahoviak said.

But architects still must contend with wetlands and high gradients, and county officials must take factors such as access to U.S. Highway 40 and the jail into consideration.

The land west of town slopes downward from U.S. Highway 40 toward the Yampa River.

The county can expect to pay at least $300,000 for infill to even out some of that slope, County Manager Tom Sullivan said.

The Klein property is listed at $995,000.

The asking price for Sublot A in the Curve Development Subdivision is $675,000, but the costs of infill will up that price.

For the downtown proposal that voters rejected last fall, the county paid $1.5 million to purchase four lots along Oak Street between Fifth Street and Butcherknife Creek and between Oak Street and the alley.

The county intends to hang on to that property for future expansion of downtown county offices.


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