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City, county to discuss shared law enforcement facility plans on Tuesday

This satellite image from Google Maps shows the potential building location of a combined public safety facility just north of the Routt County Jail and adjacent to U.S. Highway 40 in west Steamboat Springs. According to county officials, the space could support a 15,200-square-foot building footprint and expanded parking.
Courtesy Photo

— The Steamboat Springs City Council will meet with the Routt County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to decide whether to continue moving forward with plans for a shared law enforcement facility on the west side of the city.

The shared facility is one of two options still being considered by the council, which has inherited a more than four-year-old project to replace the cramped and outdated police facility on Yampa Street.

“We’re going to land this thing,” Councilman Scott Ford said Monday of the police station project.



City officials will present the council with an option to construct a 22,307-square-foot shared law enforcement facility with the county.

The facility would include 13,381 square feet of shared space, including a lobby, a lunch room, evidence storage and a records area.



The city would pay 60 percent of the cost of shared space, while the county would pay 40 percent.

The breakdown is based on the size of each government’s law enforcement organizations.

The shared facility would cost nearly $11.8 million, according to a report from the city with the city’s contribution totaling $10.3 million.

By comparison, the city estimates it could cost $11.4 million to construct a standalone, 18,108-square-foot police station at the council’s other top building site, which is a vacant lot next to the Hampton Inn on U.S. Highway 40.

Financing for the joint facility will be a topic of discussion, and possible debate, on Tuesday.

According to the city’s presentation, the construction of the shared facility would cost about $860,000 more than the county has indicated it can contribute to the project.

The council will be asked whether it wants to subside some of the county’s shared space in the facility, scale back the plans or pursue a standalone station.

The shared facility would also require the city to open a new substation in the southern portion of the city.

That facility would cost $40,000 to create, plus $10,000 to operate.

“There’s a lot of excitement in the combined facility,” Police Chief Cory Christensen said. “The sheriff and I have talked at length about how that would add value to our organizations and how we provide service.”

County Manager Tom Sullivan also said the footprint of the proposed building, which was put together by the city’s architect, needs to be changed because the Sheriff’s Office is about to start an expansion project that will put the impound lot in the proposed footprint of the building.

The potential shared law enforcement campus is one of four items on the agenda for the joint meeting, which will begin at 5 p.m. at Citizens Hall, 137 10th St.

Other topics include an annual report from the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and updates from the commissioners on secondary dwelling units and marijuana grow operations.

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


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