City, county unveil latest plans for shared law enforcement facility in west Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

City, county unveil latest plans for shared law enforcement facility in west Steamboat Springs

Conceptual drawings show the potential design for a shared law enforcement facility in west Steamboat Springs next to the Routt County Jail.

— A flurry of recent progress on the planning for a shared law enforcement facility in Steamboat Springs has one of the city's elected officials saying “hot-diggity-dog!”

"I think this train just rang the whistle, because it's ready to move out of the station," Councilman Scott Ford said Thursday as he expressed his excitement about the new conceptual plans for the facility.

Ford noted how far the city — and now, the county — have come since 2013.

Back then, the city was pursuing a project on its own and hung up some balloons in Rita Valentine Park showing how tall a standalone police station would stand there.

Fast forward to today, and the city and county are looking at a timeline for the construction of a shared space on the west end of town they think will save taxpayer dollars and increase collaboration among local law enforcement.

New renderings of the facility released Thursday show for the first time what the 23,248-square-foot building to house both the city's police force and the county sheriff's office might look like.

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Current cost estimates put the price tag of the shared facility and a remodel of existing space at the adjacent Routt County Sheriff's Office at $16.7 million.

The estimated land costs associated with the new facility total an additional $951,870.

On Tuesday, the city and county’s elected officials will decide whether to start planning for construction.

"I get more excited every step we take," Steamboat Springs Police Chief Cory Christensen said. "I get really excited about the collaboration we're going to have with the sheriff's office, and, in my opinion, I think we're going to be able to offer better public safety products to our citizens."

Under a proposed timeline, construction of the new facility would begin in May 2018.

The building would then be occupied by July 2019.

The current plan is to split the cost of certain portions of the project differently, based on the demand from the city's police force and the sheriff's office.

For example, it is proposed the city would pay for 60 percent of the new building itself, which is estimated to cost $13 million.

The county would cover the remaining 40 percent.

The county would cover the $735,236 cost of a new shell for a future communication center in the facility, and the city would pay for 90 percent of the estimated $1 million for a new garage.

Both the city and the county would also pay for the remodel of the existing sheriff's office, because both law enforcement agencies plan to house their evidence storage and processing operations inside.

The new law enforcement facility is the first item on the agenda for a Tuesday joint meeting between the City Council and the Routt County commissioners.

View the plans here.

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

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