City to renovate building

Energy Impact Grant will help update public safety building

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An Energy Impact Grant will allow the city to do almost $300,000 worth of renovation work on the city's public safety building.

By the beginning of this summer, the city plans to start work on replacing the building's roof and the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, and remodeling bathrooms and locker rooms to make them compliant with disability codes. If the $290,000 budget allows, the city also hopes to replace the carpet and windows.

"We will do as much as can with the money that we have," City Deputy Manager Wendy DuBord said.

The leaky roof has been in need of repair for years, DuBord said. When the city decided not to build a public safety building west of town, it did decide to improve the one that was housing the police department and a portion of the fire department.

"We wanted to put money into this building so we could use it," DuBord said.

The public safety building, at Yampa and Ninth streets, was built in 1981. A portion of the building was remodeled in 2000 when the City Council chambers were relocated to Centennial Hall. That area was converted into a patrol room.

The public safety building will not be closed during the renovation, DuBord said, though parts of the parking lot and the main entrance might be blocked off.

About six to eight workers will be moved to vacant space at the fire station, which is in the bottom half of the building. Besides those staff members, the rest of the police department will remain where it is.

The city hopes to complete the renovations by the end of October or the beginning of November, DuBord said. The city has put the project out to bid but is deciding on a contractor.

This week, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs announced it would give a $237,000 Energy Impact Grant to the city for the public safety building. The city had earmarked $250,000 for the renovation project in the 2004 budget but hoped a large portion of that would come from grants, DuBord said.

If the city had not received the grant money, DuBord said, it would have replaced only the roof, which is expected to cost between $60,000 and $80,000.

The city had expected a $157,000 Energy Impact Grant, but the Department of Local Affairs increased its funding so the city could free up money in its budget to put toward the local housing authority.

Preferring to spend money on capital projects, the department did not fund Routt County's request to cover a portion of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority's operational expenses. The county had requested $159,000 to help cover the housing authority's administrative costs for three years.

Instead, the department said it would increase funding for the city's renovation project and a county sewer and waterline extension project that would equal the amount requested for the housing authority.

The city's share would be $79,000 over three years. The housing authority plans to come before the City Council to request that funding, DuBord said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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