Hayden police station plans near completion | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden police station plans near completion

Melinda Dudley

— If plans for the Hayden Police Department’s replacement station go through, its officers will never have to process evidence in the Town Hall meeting room again.

Plans are nearing completion for the $1.9 million project, which aims to move the department out of its cramped quarters in Town Hall to a new 5,500-square-foot facility off Shelton Lane near The Haven Assisted Living Center.

The Town Board of Trustees gave informal approval to the current plans during a work session Thursday. Hayden town government will not give formal approval until the plans are complete, but it makes sense for the plans to be on the “right track” since money is being spent on them now, Police Chief Ray Birch said.

The town is working with Ron Szerlong Associates and TCD to finalize the plans and settle on a guaranteed maximum price for construction. The Town Board is expected to give final approval next month.

The current draft of the site plan calls for amenities familiar to most other law enforcement departments, including an on-site impound lot, evidence storage and processing space, and secure interview rooms.

The new facility will not only make it easier for the department’s officers to do their jobs, but also better serve the residents of Hayden, Birch said.

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In addition to a secure, 24-hour entry vestibule and an on-site hotline to the dispatchers at Routt County Communications, a Sallyport is slated for construction.

A Sallyport, akin to a secure garage, allows officers to bring suspects in custody into the department more safely, and it provides a means of concealed entry for witnesses and suspects, Birch said. In current police quarters, such people are brought through public areas of Town Hall, he said.

Hayden police are working with the Colorado Department of Health and the state Department of Justice to fund a detox facility at the new station. Currently, the county’s only facility is at the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.

A facility in West Routt would be of great assistance to the Hayden Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol because it would eliminate lost time where officers must transport intoxicated people all the way to Steamboat Springs and drive back before returning to duty, Birch said.

Funding

In November, the police department received an $800,000 energy impact grant for the project from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Those funds will cover half of the project’s estimated cost.

Although Hayden has enough money in reserves to fund the rest of the project now, the town will take out certificates of participation instead of depleting its reserve funds, Town Manager Russ Martin said. Certificates of participation are similar to a loan, but the financial entity technically owns a portion of the project – much like fractional ownerships of a condo, Martin said.

Under current plans, the town will repay construction costs at a rate of $75,000 a year for approximately 20 years. There are prepayment options if the town is able to pay it off sooner, he said.

“Even in the hard times, this town has been able to afford $75,000 for infrastructure,” Martin said. The payments will not increase with inflation, he said.

Certificates of participation are a less risky way to fund the project, especially because the town’s reserves will continue to earn interest at a higher rate than Hayden will pay for the construction, Martin said.