I admit to not being involved and therefore uneducated about the need for a new police station. However, from reading this newspaper's articles, it seems that the NEED for a new $10 million police station has been established. Has it?
Reading the police blotter, I'm not convinced. How often do we experience violent crime in Steamboat? Most of our very occasional violence occurs in the county, not in city limits. Do we really need a new police station to handle our daily "dog-at-large" complaints?
I believe our police officers are admirable professionals and their headquarters is outdated and cramped. This is the case for most businesses in our expensive real estate area. But we don't expect every taxpayer in Steamboat to chip in for a big fancy new building, complete with a private gym. We make do with what we have. Should the police be any different?
If our city government is really concerned with public safety, why do they refuse to solve our sidewalk problem?
I live on Oak Street. It is no exaggeration to say a pedestrian is taking their life in their hands to walk down Oak Street in the winter months. I frequently witness young mothers pushing baby carriages through the snow beside parked cars while moving vehicles fly past within inches of them.
It truly is only a matter of time before a tragedy occurs; it's a miracle it hasn't occurred yet, and we, as taxpayers, can expect to pay a huge and justified liability suit. If you want to see this for yourself, simply visit Yampa Street any Friday or Saturday evening.
Our city government has come up with many plans over the years to avoid their responsibility to provide safe sidewalks for our citizens. Requiring new businesses and developers to put in sidewalks has resulted in a crazy, unusable patchwork of sidewalks necessitating a pedestrian to cross a street often many times. Most pedestrians don't bother and walk down the street.
Now our city government is again shifting the buck to a much anticipated URA (Urban Renewal Authority) for the downtown sidewalks, ignoring the pedestrian needs for the rest of the city.
So again I ask, do we really need a new $10 million police station when we are not providing basic public safety infrastructure for our community? How many sidewalks could we build for $10 million?
As with any huge expenditure, the need for a new police station should be put to a vote before the taxpayers are forced to shell out $10 million for a project, which, at least to some of us, does not seem necessary.