City Council to discuss 6 police station sites, including option with new City Hall | SteamboatToday.com

City Council to discuss 6 police station sites, including option with new City Hall

City Council to discuss 6 sites, including option with new City Hall

A schematic shows what a police station and new City Hall might look like side by side on 10th Street.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday will weigh in on an idea from city staff to add a new City Hall to the plans to build a new police station.

Under this option, the 55-year-old building that houses City Hall on 10th Street would be replaced by a new police station, and a new City Hall would be constructed next door on what is currently a public parking lot at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue.

The idea is similar to a proposal a previous City Council passed more than three years ago to build the new police station at the 10th Street parking lot.

The addition of a police station to the city’s existing municipal campus is one of six police facility options city staff will discuss with the council.

The other potential police station building locations city staff will discuss include the Routt County Sheriff’s Office public safety campus in west Steamboat, a piece of the Yampa Valley Electric Association’s new campus, a vacant lot just south of the Hampton Inn on U.S. Highway 40, an empty parcel near Bear River Park and the existing location of the police station on Yampa Street.

But it is the 10th Street option that carries the longest list of pros from city staff.

Recommended Stories For You

Due to minimal site work, the absence of land costs and utilities already in place, city staff is recommending the council look further into the idea and begin generating cost estimates.

The city also could be eligible for more grant funding for the project if it is built as a campus.

It will ultimately be up to the City Council to decide where and how to build the new station.

A citizens committee the council convened to help it decide strongly recommended a shared facility with Routt County next to the county jail.

But that idea has run into complications in recent months, because Routt County and the city are on different timelines for expanding their law enforcement facilities.

County officials have also said they don’t currently have the funding to build a shared structure with the city.

Instead, the county has invited the city to join it at the campus and build new facilities in an incremental approach.

The City Council and the Routt County Commissioners will continue to discuss the prospect of a public safety campus and shared facilities during a joint meeting Monday.

As recently as March, Council President Walter Magill said the site next to the Routt County Jail was his top choice for the police station.

“I know we’ve been pulled back and forth by the commissioners a little bit, but I still think that site and that location and putting the Sheriff’s Office and our police department in close proximity is better for the community,” Magill told his fellow council members last month. “There will be synergies. If we could get that land cheap, then I think it’s a win-win for the community. It would be a one-stop shop.”

New City Hall?

According to city officials, a new City Hall building was included in the initial version of the capital improvement program in 2009, but the idea was dropped when the economy began to decline.

The city administration moved into the current City Hall building, formerly the Marvin Elkins building, in 1984 after the city purchased it for $430,000.

The building was erected in 1961 and previously housed the Routt National Forester Service staff, according to the Steamboat Pilot archives.

Currently, 59 employees work in City Hall.

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