As police station planning enters fourth year, citizens committee ready to move past previous challenges | SteamboatToday.com
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As police station planning enters fourth year, citizens committee ready to move past previous challenges

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

Building a police station in Steamboat Springs

The city first proposed a new police station to the Steamboat Springs City Council on March, 20, 2012. Here's a look back at what's happened since then.

2012

Steamboat council is introduced to a plan to move police and fire stations from downtown to west Steamboat

After council passes on initial proposal, city eyes demolition of Iron Horse Inn to make way for new police station

ron Horse tenants hope demolition doesn't become reality

Council rules out replacing Iron Horse with police station

Relocation of Steamboat's downtown police, fire stations enters critical phase

2013

Plan to relocate police temporarily in Iron Horse falls through

Council cancels proposed sale of downtown public safety building

Steamboat Springs Police Department chief renews efforts to build new police station

Council votes to unanimously declare police station is a need, not a want

As city's plans for new police station progress, proposal for new fire station on pause

City eyes Rita Valentine Park as potential site of new police station in Steamboat Springs

Council has mixed views of idea to build police station on Rita Valentine Park

Plan to build police station at Rita Valentine Park faces barrage of criticism at 1st community meeting

Council to have choice of 4 building sites for new police station at October meeting

City of Steamboat Springs no longer wants to consider building new police station at Rita Valentine Park

Police station vetting process extended as city council reaffirms new facility is a priority

City launches website showing locations considered for new police station

Police station project on pause as city gives Steamboat City Council time to settle in

2014

City of Steamboat identifies top building sites for new police station

Steamboat City Council won't entertain police station ballot question

Council pushes police station construction funding to 2016

Yampa Valley Medical Center withdraws from real estate talks regarding possible building location near hospital

2015

City's hiring of council member's relative to vet police station sites draws criticism

Council approves station design, but leaves meeting no closer to building site

Council creates police station committee

Police station committee is seated

— When a police station committee applicant recently told the Steamboat Springs City Council he wanted to read up on the history of the city’s efforts to build a new police headquarters, a council member jokingly recommended the history should be read with beers in hand.

The city has now spent three years trying to build the new police station, and there have been plenty of twists, turns and setbacks.

Since the city proposed a new public safety facility to the council in March 2012, the station has changed in scope and has bounced all around the city from potential location to location.



There was the proposal to raze the Iron Horse Inn to make way for a new station.

There was that long night when the council considered selling its existing public campus to a triumvirate of local outdoor retailers before a plan for a new station was finalized.



And there was the short-lived and controversial idea of building the station in a corner of Rita Valentine Park.

In recent years, city officials themselves have at times compared their efforts to build a new police station as “trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.”

During their interviews with the council, some police station committee applicants alluded to this long and winding process and said they wanted to help restore the public’s confidence in the project.

Soon, they’ll have that chance.

On Monday, a new chapter in Steamboat’s police station history will start.

Seven community members will gather at the police station for the first time and pick up the project from a city council that has been unable to agree on where the station should be built.

A fresh look

John Kerst isn’t looking back at all of the twists and turns the police station project has taken so far.

The police station committee member said Thursday he’s ready to look ahead.

“I try not to focus, in things like this, on what’s been done in the past,” Kerst said. “I think what this committee is about is getting up to speed on the current situation and the studies and whatever else has been done, and then go forward.”

“Over time, we dwell too much on the past,” Kerst continued. “There have been some challenges with (the police station project), and it’s going to get a fresh set of eyes now.”

Committee member Judy Tremaine has a similar view.

She said she is not familiar with all of the police station planning that has transpired so far, and she is committed to helping the city build a new station to replace the one she feels is inadequate.

“I am totally open minded on this project and about the location for the station,” Tremaine, a former court reporter and paralegal, said.

Council members see this fresh set of eyes from the committee as the only way to advance a project that stalled earlier this year when council members did not achieve a consensus on where the station should be built.

Let the work begin

There have been growing pains, to say the least, council member Kenny Reisman said Thursday.

But he’s happy with where the police station project is at today.

“I’ve been bullish on it from the start,” Reisman said. “I felt from the beginning the need (for a new police station) is there, and I’m happy to see, with the seating of the committee, we’re that much closer to making this happen and solving a need that is very important for our community.”

Reisman said the quality of the applicants who stepped forward to help the city with the project was inspiring.

The committee will meet at the police station at noon Monday during a public meeting.

It will need to select a chairperson and plan for the task at hand.

“I think we’re at a great place having put a great committee together,” Council President Bart Kounovsky said. “I would say without a doubt this is a need for the community, and every 40 years, you need to take a look at public safety and look at how they’re operating.”

“The actual getting (the station) to where it should go, that journey has been more difficult than it should have been,” Kounovsky continued. “But right now, it’s water under the bridge. We’ve got this committee formed, and they’re ready to move forward with this task.”

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

Building a police station in Steamboat Springs

The city first proposed a new police station to the Steamboat Springs City Council on March, 20, 2012. Here’s a look back at what’s happened since then.

2012

Steamboat council is introduced to a plan to move police and fire stations from downtown to west Steamboat

After council passes on initial proposal, city eyes demolition of Iron Horse Inn to make way for new police station

ron Horse tenants hope demolition doesn’t become reality

Council rules out replacing Iron Horse with police station

Relocation of Steamboat’s downtown police, fire stations enters critical phase

2013

Plan to relocate police temporarily in Iron Horse falls through

Council cancels proposed sale of downtown public safety building

Steamboat Springs Police Department chief renews efforts to build new police station

Council votes to unanimously declare police station is a need, not a want

As city’s plans for new police station progress, proposal for new fire station on pause

City eyes Rita Valentine Park as potential site of new police station in Steamboat Springs

Council has mixed views of idea to build police station on Rita Valentine Park

Plan to build police station at Rita Valentine Park faces barrage of criticism at 1st community meeting

Council to have choice of 4 building sites for new police station at October meeting

City of Steamboat Springs no longer wants to consider building new police station at Rita Valentine Park

Police station vetting process extended as city council reaffirms new facility is a priority

City launches website showing locations considered for new police station

Police station project on pause as city gives Steamboat City Council time to settle in

2014

City of Steamboat identifies top building sites for new police station

Steamboat City Council won’t entertain police station ballot question

Council pushes police station construction funding to 2016

Yampa Valley Medical Center withdraws from real estate talks regarding possible building location near hospital

2015

City’s hiring of council member’s relative to vet police station sites draws criticism

Council approves station design, but leaves meeting no closer to building site

Council creates police station committee

Police station committee is seated


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