Police station project on pause as city gives Steamboat City Council time to settle in
December 18, 2013
Steamboat Springs — The city of Steamboat Springs is giving its newly seated City Council some time to settle in before renewing talks about places to build a new police station.
City staff originally were scheduled to discuss the police station sites at a meeting this month, but the agenda item was postponed.
"We feel like there’s time to let this council settle in and get to know each other and each other’s priorities before we bring back a big decision like this," City Manager Deb Hinsvark said Wednesday. "I think we can wait a bit longer for a site."
Hinsvark said work on the project has been paused, and there currently aren’t any plans to present locations to council for at least another month.
In the meantime, the city still is looking for community feedback about its website with the list of potential locations.
Hinsvark said feedback so far has been limited, but there’s a common suggestion from the community.
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"The biggest suggestion is the TIC property," she said.
However, the city has ruled out the giant vacant campus at Routt County Road 129 and U.S. Highway 40 because of the high price tag and its location west of downtown.
About 85 percent of police calls in the city originate east of 13th Street, and city staff want the police station located in that part of Steamboat where the hub of emergency activity is.
Hinsvark said if development in the city does happen to the west, as many expect it to, the city could work with developers to establish a substation in the future to better serve that growth.
To date, the city has considered 27 locations for the new station that range from a U.S. Forest Service parcel near Hilltop Parkway to a parcel near the Hampton Inn & Suites on U.S. 40.
The city's resolve to not build the station to the west of 13th Street effectively rules out almost half of the locations on the list.
Options that would not involve a land purchase include a remodel of the existing campus on Yampa Street or the construction of a new station at the city-owned parking lot at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue.
The city originally included as much as $2.5 million in next year’s capital budget for a new police station, but council thought the number was too high and more planning needed to be done.
Council members then approved $300,000 for planning and work on the facility for next year.
The city so far has spent $120,000 on planning and site visits for the new station, according to city staff.