Police Sgt. John McCartin works at the Steamboat Springs Police Department headquarters on Yampa Street. The city of Steamboat is waiting to see if the police station will be a goal of the city council before presenting a list of viable building locations.

Photo by Scott Franz

Police Sgt. John McCartin works at the Steamboat Springs Police Department headquarters on Yampa Street. The city of Steamboat is waiting to see if the police station will be a goal of the city council before presenting a list of viable building locations.

New police station headlines Steamboat Springs' capital improvement plan

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— A new police station is the biggest project included in the first draft of Steamboat Springs' six-year capital improvement plan.

The plan, which was presented to the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night, indicates that the city wants to start construction on the new facility next year at an estimated cost of $8.9 million.

A new fire station would be constructed in 2017.

Addressing a concern from a few council members about the rising price tag of the police project, Public Safety Director Joel Rae said the estimated cost of constructing a building that adheres to the city's essential building code has driven up the costs a bit.

He said the cost estimate is based on the construction of an 18,000-square-foot police headquarters.

The figure includes 6,000 square feet of garage and warehouse space.

“This is very attainable for $8.9 million, and we'll try to shave that (cost) down even more,” Rae said.

He said the city plans to return to council in September with site plans for the building.

Council President Bart Kounovsky cautioned city staff that they will have to ensure the price tag doesn't go beyond the estimated cost of the project.

“There will be no creep in the number we end up with,” Kounovsky said. “You're really going to have to show me on the number.”

He added he hopes the project stays in the budget and is approved by the council in the fast-approaching budget season.

The city for more than a year has been planning for a new police headquarters. But the process essentially was reset in February when a plan to sell Steamboat's current emergency services building on Yampa Street to a triumvirate of outdoor retailers was scrapped.

City officials said the current headquarters is cramped and insufficient.

The cost of a new station would be covered by the city's reserves.

In addition to the new police station, the city's capital improvement plan includes projects such as the establishment of a new entrance to Emerald Park that would bypass the residences on Pamela Lane and improvements to the intersection of Pine Grove Road and U.S. Highway 40.

To pay for the projects and accommodate the new police station in the budget, the city is proposing the transfer of $10.7 million in its unassigned reserves to the capital improvement program.

A transfer of $1 million from the city's general fund also would be required annually to complete the projects.

The council will weigh the capital improvement plan at budget hearings in the fall.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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Comments

bill schurman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's call it Deb's plan. Let's use the lodging tax to fund it as it would surly serve the tourists.

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rhys jones 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I wish I knew who lives on Pamela Lane and swings so much weight. I have it on reliable authority that they had the light at Hilltop installed two years before its actual need -- the completion of Hilltop -- because they didn't like sitting at the stop sign at Lincoln -- which required heavy influence with the State, CDOT, maybe even the Feds. So likely you stopped for this person, at least once, during that time... must be nice, eh?

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Pat West 8 months, 2 weeks ago

You have it on reliable authority, but your source will not disclose who "they" are? I call BS on that.
Anyone gossiping about an abuse of power that led to the Hilltop light would surely drop a name to show their connection to power.

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Gaylan Hellyer 8 months ago

Direct access to Emerald Park from Hwy 40 was in the original plan but somehow was set aside and off the public radar. So I think there may already be an access easement in place from the park across to the hwy. And if the city can pull it off, this might be the best location for the new police station. Located directly off Hwy 40 nestled between the park, RR tracks, convenient store and hotel and not plopped down in an open green space between a bunch of homes. It would be nice to see the Iron Horse turned into low-profile housing with commercial space along the bottom creating a gathering place of sorts open to the core trail and river. And I say "low-profile" to not over build or obstruct the view from 40 across the valley.

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jerry carlton 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Where is it going to be? Does this include the cost of the land? Amazing what you can do with a dartboard.

Rhys Broncos tonight! No more suffering with the Rockies!

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rhys jones 8 months, 1 week ago

Pat -- You know not whereof you speak. Get over it. I don't care WHAT you believe. Take it for what it's worth. I will not reveal my source. But they were plenty credible. Two separate authorities. Calling BS on absolutely no evidence is poor form. There is a lot you don't know. I told you too much already. Obviously.

Jerry -- Hey, the Broncos looked pretty good, for the first time out. Two solid backup QB's, the new RB Anderson, some great new additions at LB & DB -- could be another fun year!!

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rhys jones 8 months, 1 week ago

I WILL provide that both of my sources work(ed) for the government -- won't say at what level -- and thus were in a position to know -- one supplied the information, the other verified it, years later -- sooner or later, most of us leave work behind.

Anybody who lived here at the time, knows that light served no function other than to annoy, for its first two full years of existence there -- and now we're going back, what, 10-12 years?

How long did you say you have hung your hat in our fair valley, Pat?

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Jim Kelley 8 months, 1 week ago

And Mr. Jones, he "who's hat is more "local" than Pat's", you must have also been pissed off when they put a stop light at Anglers drive...Being a local then, we were sure pissed off!... And Walton Creek Road!...Man, being a local back then! --I was sure pissed.... These wanna-be locals who are pissed off about 11th street stop light?-- You guys haven't been here long enough to know what was like to be pissed off about stop lights in town! Back in the day when we were locals, we knew a stop light to get pissed about and we darn sure knew someone who knew someone who decided to put the stop light in to get pissed about..... and they lived on Pamela Lane!!!!

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Scott Wedel 8 months, 1 week ago

Pat,

You are fighting against a master of conspiracy theories. Look at his other posts saying that the Colorado judicial system doesn't understand Colorado law and is improperly conducting preliminary hearings.

In the real world, The Hilltop connector project created the need for a CDOT project to install a stoplight which CDOT happened to finish faster than the City completed Hilltop.

And the city has a long history of failing to keep promises to the people of Pamela Lane made while developing Emerald Park. They had long been told that it would only be a neighborhood park as long as it was accessed via Pamela Lane. City is finally making good on that promise.

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rhys jones 8 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, those guys weren't in a position to know what they were talking about, not like the Valley Wizard.

Like I said: Believe what you want. Like I really care.

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bill schurman 8 months, 1 week ago

Is Sgt. McCartin calling in a doughnut order ?? (Just kidding, Joel)

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Michael Bird 8 months, 1 week ago

To avoid the errors of the past, may I suggest that the construction of the Police station be bonded by both a performance bond and a completion bond. Cost overruns will then not be borne by the City. As a suggestion, require a simple roof design to easily support our weather hazards. Do not have a bunch of peaks and valleys. Rather than have an architectual wonder, have our station designed for functional usage with minimum maintenance needs.With these ideas in mind, it can still be an attractive structure.

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Scott Wedel 8 months, 1 week ago

The difficulty of making projected costs is in controlling change orders during construction. Construction of the building shell usually proceeds without problems. But then they decide they need additional power for their equipment, more air conditioning, more stronger walls that cannot be kicked in by violent suspects, and so on.

City Council should tell the city manager that preventing cost overruns will be a central part of her performance review. That the goal is not to build a police station that is featured in Architectural Digest, but is an effective police station completed at estimated cost.

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Martha D Young 8 months, 1 week ago

Does anyone know what land is to be used for the proposed police station and how it will be acquired?

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Scott Wedel 8 months, 1 week ago

No, the location of the new police has not been determined.

This budget item is actually the right way to do it as a placeholder as the approximate expense.

It is silly to claim that it is the precise amount.

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Martha D Young 8 months ago

Received a letter signed by Joel Rae inviting us to attend a public meeting to discuss locating the new police station on a part of Rita Valentine Park! When is a park not a park? When it's a cop shop. Agh.

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Mark Ruckman 8 months ago

Martha, when & where is the public meeting?

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Martha D Young 8 months ago

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Center.

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Scott Wedel 8 months ago

Would that be for a police station on Hillside that backs onto Rita Valentine Park?

This City cut into green belt dedicated land next to West Acres in order to build the road to nowhere. When it is not a park or green space? When the city wants to use it.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 8 months ago

So all those who don't like where the new police station may be located. Do any of you have a reasonable alternative

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Scott Wedel 8 months ago

Dam,

I think it depends on how it affects the existing park. If it is merely located next to the park then that would be fine. If they are talking about giving up the park to become a police station then that would be much more controversial.

There is no shortage of vacant commercial lots between downtown and the mountain. So there are alternatives. The main appeal of the park may be that the city already owns it and could save money by using it to locate a police station.

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Pat West 8 months ago

The city owns the Iron Horse, it's a better location, and really what's to become of it anyway? At least if the Hilltop/Rita plan goes forward, maybe speeders on hilltop will be slowed down, but remembering how hard it was for the disc golf group to use Rita, something tells me the NIMBy people will not stand for this park to be used for any public building. What about the space south of the to be built access for the Emerald Fields/botanical park?

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Gaylan Hellyer 8 months ago

Just mentioned the same thing above before reading your post. The Emerald Park Hwy access would be a great location for a new police station. As far as actual Hwy access there is already break in the median and an open line of visibility in that stretch of the highway. Whereas the access point from the Iron Horse is already a cluster with low visibility and stacked next to a busy light/intersection.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 8 months ago

would be nice to see this project done at a reasonable cost. not always possible. presumably city owned land would help

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Scott Wedel 8 months ago

So should cost savings mean that it is a question of which park can be sacrificed to have a police station?

Most cities say a park or dedicated open space are already being used for public benefit and are not waiting for the city project needing land.

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Rob Douglas 8 months ago

Martha is correct. On September 13, Chief of Police Joel Rae issued a letter announcing two community meetings to discuss the possibility of building a new police station on a corner of Rita Valentine Park. The first meeting is August 27 at 5:30 pm at the Community Center and the second meeting is September 5 at 5:00 pm at Centennial Hall.

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Gaylan Hellyer 8 months ago

The Emerald Park Hwy access would be a great location for a new police station.

As far as actual Hwy access there is already break in the median and an open line of visibility in that stretch of the highway. Whereas the access point from the Iron Horse is already a cluster with low visibility and stacked next to a busy light/intersection.

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