Traffic moves through the intersection of Pine Grove Road and Central Park Drive. The site owned by Yampa Valley Medical Center is one of three that the Steamboat City Council has directed city staff to investigate to possibly build a new police station.

Photo by Scott Franz

Traffic moves through the intersection of Pine Grove Road and Central Park Drive. The site owned by Yampa Valley Medical Center is one of three that the Steamboat City Council has directed city staff to investigate to possibly build a new police station.

Lot at Pine Grove Road and Central Park Drive is latest site under consideration for new police station

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— Yampa Valley Medical Center could become a partner in the city's quest to build a new police station.

City Council members reflect on the police station search

Steamboat Springs City Council members offered different reactions to the latest site possibility Tuesday.

Council President Bart Kounovsky said he was very supportive of looking into the idea.

At first glance, council member Walter Magill also thought it could be a good fit and worthy of future exploration.

Council member Sonja Macys was the only member to vote against spending as much as $300,000 on police station planning this year.

She still was critical of the project Tuesday and said she had not been fully briefed on the latest site under consideration.

"This whole process of the police station has been driven by staff, and council is getting very little information, and it's inappropriate," she said.

Council member Scott Ford said the process has become more involved than it was a year ago when the city was considering selling its downtown campus to BAP, Big Agnes and Honey Stinger.

He said he thinks there isn't a need to rush the decision.

Kounovsky said the council and staff have had time to review the sites, and it's time for the group to discuss them.

"Every 40 years, you need to relook at your needs for the police station, and now is the time to look at it for our council," he said.

The hospital and the city of Steamboat Springs have started talking about the possibility of the city constructing a police station next to a new health center at the corner of Pine Grove Road and Central Park Drive.

Both sides stress the idea still is in the concept phase, and the hospital-owned lot is one of at least five sites where the city still is seriously considering building the police station.

“There are a lot of positives this property brings to our plan,” City Manager Deb Hinsvark said Tuesday, adding that the lack of a big land purchase price makes it a more attractive option than others the city has vetted.

The hospital's lot just across the street from Barn Village joins a long list of more than 20 sites the city has considered for the station.

Hospital CEO Frank May recently reached out to the city with the idea following some of the challenges city staff was having in finding a suitable location for the new station, including blowback from the idea of building it at Rita Valentine Park.

The early discussions with the hospital have focused on the possibility of co-developing the land, and both sides see the arrangement as a potential win-win.

The city would have its new police station in a central location, Hinsvark said, and eliminate the cost of a land purchase by potentially swapping a parcel it owns nearby in Barn Village with the hospital.

And the hospital would find it easier to build a new health center on part of the 3-acre site because the city would help to add costly infrastructure such as utilities and sidewalks on the lot when the police station is constructed.

The hospital also would have more room for future expansion of its main campus on what currently is the city's lot located just behind the emergency room.

While the city has laid out its vision for a new police facility, what isn't clear yet is what services the new health facility would offer.

In a press release announcing the discussions about the lot, hospital staff wrote that it would be a “complementary health center to address community health issues.”

May said Tuesday that he doesn't yet know what services the new health facility would include, but it would aim to serve unmet health care needs in the community.

“It really is kind of a concept at this point in time,” May said, adding the hospital has been talking with local health organizations, including the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and Mind Springs Health, about the possibilities of the new facility.

Mind Springs Health Regional Director Tom Gangel said his early discussions with May about the facility have been preliminary and have not focused on what services might be available.

"We know we've been good partners in the past, and if we come up with some mutual ideas that would make this community healthier, we'd like to be a partner on this," Gangel said.

The hospital's lot is one of five options city staff still is vetting to bring to the Steamboat Springs City Council for consideration this spring.

Alternatives include a remodel or reconstruction of the current campus on Yampa Street, building a new station on what currently is a city-owned parking lot at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue, and two other options that would involve purchasing land somewhere in the city.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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Comments

Fred Duckels 10 months ago

Everyone wants to crowd in on the east end of town. I think that the west end makes more sense considering that this would encourage more development there and there would be less need for west enders to go all the way thru town in order to do business. Main street is able to handle todays traffic but let the economy spurt ahead and it's gridlock city. Our leadership is in complete denial as they read reports from planning gurus that say no more roads. We haven't addressed our traffic insanity for over a hundred years and have a situation unacceptable by any standards. I went by the courthouse last week and observed the cars in the parking lot and marveled at how the city would have accommodated them if the courthouse was built downtown as the mainstreeters had envisioned. By the way the effort to sabotage this location cost the county $739,000 extra..

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Fred Duckels 10 months ago

This would consolidate the jail, courts and police station in one area.

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bill schurman 10 months ago

Fred, Moffat County built one structure to house the jail, police, sheriff, and the CSP. Why didn't Stmbt & the county do the same? Lack of any foresight.

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David Moore 10 months ago

I am not a resident so I will not weigh in on the location of the police station issue. I do work at YVMC on occasion, my point is that this is an already congested intersection with the occasional ambulance going up and down the hill. Add in police cars to the mess and there may be an increase in a response time, we all know what that brings. That coupled with working your way thru downtown to get to an emergency on the west end and response times will be agonizingMaybe if they also widened the road to two lanes going each way it might help, people would have room to move to the side when approached by an emergency vehicle. Just a thought.

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Scott Wedel 10 months ago

The location of a police station is not that important. Officers on patrol typically respond to emergency calls so the location of the police station does not determine response time as it does for fire stations. Nor does the city's police dept administer a jail or a criminal courthouse so they are free to put the police station wherever.

This location looks fine to me. Only question is how much money is the city going to spend improving the hospital's lot? And hopefully the city council will review the proposed design of the police station. In particular, the large police chief office with a personal bathroom and so on is blatantly excessive. The CEOs of billion dollar tech companies typically have less of an office.

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Cresean Sterne 10 months ago

Scott makes a good point, that it realy dosnt mater where the station goes. Our police force has excellent proficiency covering the entire town. This also seems like a much better location. Centraly located and close to the hostpital which could be of benefit at times. The downtown location would then seem to be a perfect spot to turn into a large parking garage, alleviating some of our parking woes downtown.

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bill schurman 10 months ago

Can you imagine the traffic congestion at this intersection if both the city and hospital build out ? What would be the cost of redoing Pine Grove road at this intersection ? Surely that must figure into this decision.

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Russ Fasolino 10 months ago

It continues to seem as if our city government is "full steam ahead" with this new police station when we don't even have basic infrastructure (sidewalks) to make it safe for our citizens. Again I ask, how many sidewalks could we build for the estimated police station cost of 10 million? Steve Lewis has an estimate of 350,000 to complete Oak St, about the same cost city has been granted just for this year to "study" the issue. Please, can we stop spending our tax dollars, and put this issue to a vote. It's our money the city government is burning, not theirs.

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mark hartless 10 months ago

Whether or not a police station is needed, I do not know. It certainly does not need to sit on a prime commercial lot. It could and probably would be better situated a bit off the beaten path.

Fred is, of course, exactly right. The west side needs some attention as well as the woefully inadequate corridor from west to east. Ignoring that isdsue is doing a dreadful dis-service to the entire community. Downtown merchants need to stop trying to hold the entire county in the dark ages and get on board with some sort of by-pass.

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bill schurman 10 months ago

Mark, A by-pass? That concept has been on and mostly off discussion since I moved here in 1975. Good luck with that issue.

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Scott Wedel 10 months ago

Traffic from a police station is probably the lowest possible for any commercial use. The number of visitors to a police station is far less than in a retail store.

I think at first glance this looks like a good location. We will have to find out how much the city is going to spend improving the swapped lot.

Overall, I am far more concerned that it appears that still no one in power has reviewed the Taj Mahal police station and asked if the public should be asked to pay for this or that feature. I'd start by reducing the police chief's grandiose office suite to be far closer to that of other supervisory personnel. The police chief should not require a personal bathroom, an office the size of a meeting room plus a dedicated meeting room, plus a dedicated personal assistant office and so on. Our police chief doesn't need a similar executive office suite as egomaniac billionaire Larry Ellison. Our police chief should be willing to have an office similar to that of billionaire Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com.

It also looks like we could spend less by building one structure of essential services to those expensive building codes and build a connected building for the rest of their needs. It is pretty unlikely that a natural disaster will strike that location so building a locker room and such to the more rigorous building code is a waste of money.

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Martha D Young 10 months ago

Is there land available next to the S.O. and jail where a P.D. could be built? I like that idea. Thanks for describing the chief's suite. Amazing.

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Fred Duckels 10 months ago

Land is available adjacent to the courts for a police station. It is not as glamorous, but I don't think that this facility needs center stage.

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rhys jones 10 months ago

I agree with Fred -- the land is open in the vicinity of existing related facilities, and it can be utilized at minimal cost. A country club in the high-rent district is impractical and infeasible financially, unnecessary because location is unimportant with regard to dispatching calls. Cops don't generally hang out at the station waiting for calls; they're cruising the streets, eyes peeled.

I agree with Mark too -- we really need a bypass.

I'm just really agreeable today.

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john bailey 10 months ago

hey , looky there , the reply has been fixed.....Rhys, agreed....~;0)

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Scott Wedel 10 months ago

Their is no synergy locating near the Sheriff's office or the jail. SB Police does not administer the jail or provide security to the courthouse.

A bypass is not going to happen. They redid Lincoln because that is going to be the thoroughfare for the next couple of decades.

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bill schurman 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Scott, The land adjacent to the S/O & Jail is available. From time to time the cops go to the jail with the drunks and arrestees..

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Fred Duckels 10 months ago

Scott, I think that California is in desperate need of an expert to handle the smelt crisis and anything else that ails it.

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