20 inmates from Grand County taking a weeklong field trip to Routt County Jail | SteamboatToday.com

20 inmates from Grand County taking a weeklong field trip to Routt County Jail

Detention Officer Rick Pierce watches TV monitors, hallways and jail cells from inside the Routt County Jail's control tower.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Thanks to a small fire in the ventilation system at the Grand County Jail, about 20 inmates detained in Hot Sulphur Springs are getting a change of scenery this week on a field trip to the Routt County Jail.

Grand County’s jail and 911 dispatch center had to be temporarily evacuated in early November after a fire broke out in a bathroom at the jail.

The Sky-Hi News in Granby reported the fire left behind about $10,000 to $20,000 in damage, which is going to be repaired this week.

Routt County has agreed to house the inmates from the neighboring county for about a week while officials in Grand County make the repairs.

Grand County is covering the costs of the field trip, and their jail is also sending along two deputies to help handle the influx of inmates here in Routt County.

"They know their inmates," Routt County Undersheriff Doug Scherar said. "It helps ease the tensions on our end."

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Scherar said even with the addition of inmates from Grand County, the Routt County Jail still will not be at capacity.

"We still have plenty of room," he said.

Scherar said inmates from Grand County started arriving in Steamboat Springs on Sunday.

Grand County will pay Routt County the jail's daily fee of $52.50 per inmate, as well as any medical costs that may arise during the inmates' stay. Laundry for the inmates also will be covered by Grand County.

Routt County commissioners are being asked to approve an intergovernmental agreement for the living arrangement Tuesday afternoon.

Scherar said the Routt and Grand county sheriffs offices have a strong working relationship.

The November fire also affected Grand County's emergency communications center, and Routt County offered to let their neighbors utilize a mobile emergency command center.

Scherar said Grand County ended up not needing that help, but Routt County happily agreed to take in the county's inmates while their jail was being repaired.

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