Police chief, sheriff to share a wall in new law enforcement facility
March 14, 2017
Steamboat Springs — The city of Steamboat Springs' long and bumpy quest to build a new police station is finally nearing the finish line after half a decade of planning.
On Tuesday, City Council members and Routt County commissioners were very receptive to the conceptual layout of a $16.7 million shared law enforcement facility next to the Routt County Jail.
"Bottom line, we're building a building," Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan said after the plans were detailed. "This ship is sailing tonight. … I think in a few years, we'll look back and agree we did the right thing."
Council President Walter Magill labeled the latest development on the project a great move.
The city and county plan to start construction on the 23,248-square-foot facility in May 2018.
Council members and commissioners were in general agreement about the design, which will have police officers and sheriff's deputies working together in the same building.
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"You've got a good looking building here," Magill told architect Bill Rangitsch.
Police Chief Cory Christensen said the building has more shared spaces than originally envisioned.
He added he was most excited about sharing a wall with Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins in the building.
"We'll get to see each other every single day and talk to each other," Christensen said.
Officials think the new building will ultimately lead to greater collaboration between the city and county law enforcement agencies.
All that remains to be done before construction drawings are ordered is to finalize the cost sharing agreement that will outline how much each government will ultimately pay for the new facility.
Preliminary discussions have the city with an investment just shy of $11 million.
The county's share is somewhere around $5.5 million.
But officials said Tuesday the numbers still need to be massaged, and both entities could see their totals come down as plans are finalized.
Both the city and county agree that debates about cost sharing in coming weeks will focus on a figure that is less than $500,000, meaning they are close to reaching an agreement on cost.
For example, some city council members think the city may owe less in land costs for the project, because the county is also building on the same land.
Council members labeled the issue as a "math problem."
A working group will meet in the coming weeks to try to finalize a cost-sharing agreement.