Commissioners approve $425K for security upgrades at downtown Steamboat campus |

Commissioners approve $425K for security upgrades at downtown Steamboat campus

A new security system will be installed in the Routt County Courthouse, the county’s annex buildings nearby, and the new Health and Human Services building starting this summer.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Routt County commissioners approved the purchase of a new security system for the county’s buildings in downtown Steamboat Springs on Tuesday, April 12, with the price tag exceeding $425,000.

The county has been exploring security upgrades since before the pandemic, but like many things, the effort was put on hold early in 2020. Commissioners returned to the issue last year and were presented with potential designs for the new system in October.

The upgrades will add cameras on the exterior of buildings, entrances and interior hallways. It will also increase the number of duress or panic buttons in the buildings, and add key card locks to exterior and some interior doors.

County Facilities Manager Steve Faulkner said that other than seeing a camera in the hallway and an additional device on some doors, the public shouldn’t feel much of a difference between what is in place now and the upgrades.

“With the cameras, the card readers and the panic buttons, those three things really give us the basic level of security that we are looking for,” Faulkner said.

The contract commissioners approved Tuesday is with Denver-based TeamLINX and will cover the equipment and installation of the system in the historic Routt County Courthouse, the annex buildings behind it and the new Health and Human Services building across the street.

Faulkner said installation of the system on the courthouse and annex buildings would start in June, and that work on the HHS building currently under construction would be incorporated into the current plan with the general contractor.

While they’re not common, incidents have occurred in the past, such as people angry the county didn’t select their bid or others who were upset with various departments.

“In a perfect world, I wish we didn’t have to do this,” said Commissioner Tim Corrigan. “But we don’t live in a perfect world, and I think to the extent that this provides security and confidence for our staff, it’s something we have to do.”

Each exterior door will get a card reader except for the historic main door of the courthouse. All of the public doors would remain unlocked during business hours, but require a key card for entry after hours.

Some departments such as elections and the county treasurer will get a card reader on their office door as well. Faulkner said the county stopped short of adding these to every department, as it would add another nearly $180,000 to the cost of the system. He said that portion could be updated at a later time.

The system could also ease the community’s use of some of the county’s spaces. Rather than needing to give out actual keys to use these spaces — which often went missing — the new system will allow the county to issue a temporary access card to local nonprofits and other groups that use spaces like the commissioner’s hearing room.

Eight firms came to the county to walk through the space before bidding on the project, but the county received just one completed bid. Still, Purchasing Director Julie Kennedy said she was confident in the choice.

“When you get into the whole design, we did a lot of value engineering,” Kennedy said. “We all selected this (system) as our No. 1 choice.”

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