City of Steamboat identifies top building sites for new police station | SteamboatToday.com

City of Steamboat identifies top building sites for new police station

A Steamboat Springs Police vehicle leaves the current police station in June.

— The city of Steamboat Springs has identified the five places it thinks now are the most viable places to build a new police station.

Explore the interactive map below to learn more about the conceptual plans for the five sites as well as the initial cost estimates and city staff’s list of pros and cons for each one.

What do you think? Leave a comment about the sites in the comment section below.

City staff and architects Tuesday night will brief the Steamboat Springs City Council on the sites and ask that members eliminate the ones they aren’t comfortable with.

Tuesday’s meeting also could reveal how willing the current council is to start advancing what would be one of the city’s most significant capital projects in years.

The city’s top sites for the police station include a site behind the Western Convenience gas station off of Hilltop Parkway; a parcel owned by Yampa Valley Medical Center at the corner of Pine Grove Road and Central Park Drive; the city’s public parking lot on 10th Street; a parcel just south of the Hampton Inn on U.S. Highway 40; and a remodel or reconstruction of the current police headquarters on Yampa Street.

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These sites were selected from a long list of 29 sites the city has considered for the police station in recent years.

City staff narrowed the search to land between 13th Street and Pine Grove Road because they thought the area would be the optimal location for a station based on where most emergency calls in the city come from.

Asked Wednesday afternoon if the city had a preferred site out of the five top choices, City Manager Deb Hinsvark said it was better for the city to refrain from picking a favorite right now.

Some of the sites would require real estate negotiations, and Hinsvark said selecting a top choice could complicate the negotiations with property owners.

Not including the potential cost of land purchases, the initial cost estimates for each site range from $9.4 million to $10.9 million.

The city anticipates a $2 million grant also would be required to build the station.

Tuesday night will mark the first time the council has discussed the police station project for several months.

A presentation on the latest possible building locations was delayed multiple times this year as city staff gave a newly seated council time to settle in and decide if a new police station still was a priority.

The council kept the project moving forward late last year when it voted for the city to spend as much as $300,000 on planning for the station in 2014.

City officials said the current Yampa Street police station, which was added to the top of the 43-year-old fire station in 1980, is cramped and is not suitable for today’s police force.

Council’s deliberation about the five sites could advance a project that has had many twists and turns during the past 2 1/2 years.

Before the latest list of five top sites, the city seriously has considered building the station at places including the Iron Horse Inn, west of Steamboat and at Rita Valentine Park.

City Council President Bart Kounovsky said Thursday that he remains very supportive of building a new police station.

“I think one needs to get built,” he said. “Every 40 years, you have to address core issues like a police station. Hopefully, we’ll come to a resolution to build a 40-year-police station at a great site.”

However, as long as the site just south of the Hampton Inn remains on the table, Kounovsky said the business connections he has with owners of the property will force him to step down during the council’s discussion about where to build the station.

The police station project has created plenty of debate among current and past council members, with some saying it is desperately needed and others questioning the urgency behind the project.

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

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