CIty Council narrows list of police station sites | SteamboatToday.com

CIty Council narrows list of police station sites

Scott Franz

The quest to build a new police station in Steamboat Springs is entering its fourth year.

— Steamboat Springs City Council has told city staff to abandon ship on the idea of building a municipal campus at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue, a proposal that would have included a new police station, City Hall and fire station.

City Council's decision Tuesday leaves three police stations sites on the table.

An early estimate from city staff put the price tag on the nixed municipal campus option at $25 million.

It also would have eliminated 44 public parking spaces downtown.

The sticker shock and parking loss prompted four council members to rule out the idea before staff could spend any more time investigating it with an artchitect.

City Council's three remaining locations for the police station include a shared campus next to the Routt County Jail, a vacant piece of land on U.S. Highway 40 south of the Hampton Inn and the current police and fire station site on Yampa Street.

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The shared campus was the recommendation of a citizens committee the council convened to help pick a spot for the station.

Council took a step Tuesday toward the shared facility by ordering an appraisal of the land adjacent to the Routt County Jail, where the building would be constructed.

Council members now want to hear more from the county about what portions of a building it could share.

Councilman Tony Connell said it will give the city a better understanding of the money it could save by sharing space.

"Hopefully, we get 10 percent cost savings from here to eternity," Connell said.

Routt County Board of Commissioners last week told the city it could afford to pitch into a shared facility sooner than it previously thought.

"We think there's a way to build a shared facility, and we could still do it incrementally," Commissioner Tim Corrigan said last week. "We see a path forward where, if you guys build a 20,000-square-foot building (for example) and lock off 5,000 square feet for the county, we could contribute to construction."

Commissioner Cari Hermacinski added that, by 2018, when the city is prepared to begin construction, commissioners think they could contribute $1 million (beyond land sale proceeds) toward construction to cover the county's unfinished portion of the building.

In the meantime, the county will proceed with plans in 2017 to develop training and workout facilities sufficient to meet the needs of both sheriff's and police personnel in 3,000 square feet within the nearby justice center.

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