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Go west

County chooses judicial facility near jail

— Plans for a proposed judicial facility are going west.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners decided Tuesday night to build needed courtrooms and court clerk offices west of Steamboat Springs near the Routt County Jail.

The board was not unanimous in its decision; County Commissioners Nancy Stahoviak and Doug Monger voted for the move while County Commissioner Dan Ellison argued for a downtown location.



The courtroom expansion needs to be west of town to ensure other county departments have room to grow in the future, Stahoviak and Monger said. Downtown county property initially intended for new courtrooms and court clerk offices is better suited for future growth of county departments, Stahoviak and Monger said.

The decision came after three public hearings to weigh residents’ opinions on the location of the judicial facility.



Tuesday evening was the third and final chance for people to tell the board why they thought new courtrooms should sit either across from the Routt County Courthouse or out by the jail.

People stood in line to plead their cases.

Supporters of keeping the judicial facility downtown highlighted the relationship between a healthy downtown and the proximity of government services.

“It is part of what makes the downtown a viable place,” Don Grant said.

Towny Anderson urged the board not to take away an asset such as the courts from downtown Steamboat.

He reminded the county commissioners of the gravity of their decision. The judicial facility is a public investment, he said, and site they chose would determine where the public invests in the future.

“There’s no looking back,” Anderson said.

Jim Stanko suggested the downtown would not lose out financially if foot traffic from the courts moved west of town.

“I doubt the court has that much to do with the economy of the downtown businesses,” Stanko said.

Voters made it clear they wanted a west of Steamboat site when they voted down a downtown location last November, Chriss Parks said.

A few people suggested the question of where to build the judicial facility go back to the voters.

“This is far too big a decision to made by the three of you,” Joe Armstrong said.

Stahoviak and Monger could not sway Ellison to accept a west of Steamboat site.

Ellison argued the vitality of downtown business depends on the downtown location of government buildings.

Stahoviak and Monger stressed only the courts would move while all other county services would remain downtown.

Discussion about the judicial facility continues tonight at 7 p.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room. With a location determined, the board is now seeking input on size and cost.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners decided Tuesday night to build needed courtrooms and court clerk offices west of Steamboat Springs near the Routt County Jail.

The board was not unanimous in its decision; County Commissioners Nancy Stahoviak and Doug Monger voted for the move while County Commissioner Dan Ellison argued for a downtown location.

The courtroom expansion needs to be west of town to ensure other county departments have room to grow in the future, Stahoviak and Monger said. Downtown county property initially intended for new courtrooms and court clerk offices is better suited for future growth of county departments, Stahoviak and Monger said.

The decision came after three public hearings to weigh residents’ opinions on the location of the judicial facility.

Tuesday evening was the third and final chance for people to tell the board why they thought new courtrooms should sit either across from the Routt County Courthouse or out by the jail.

People stood in line to plead their cases.

Supporters of keeping the judicial facility downtown highlighted the relationship between a healthy downtown and the proximity of government services.

“It is part of what makes the downtown a viable place,” Don Grant said.

Towny Anderson urged the board not to take away an asset such as the courts from downtown Steamboat.

He reminded the county commissioners of the gravity of their decision. The judicial facility is a public investment, he said, and site they chose would determine where the public invests in the future.

“There’s no looking back,” Anderson said.

Jim Stanko suggested the downtown would not lose out financially if foot traffic from the courts moved west of town.

“I doubt the court has that much to do with the economy of the downtown businesses,” Stanko said.

Voters made it clear they wanted a west of Steamboat site when they voted down a downtown location last November, Chriss Parks said.

A few people suggested the question of where to build the judicial facility go back to the voters.

“This is far too big a decision to made by the three of you,” Joe Armstrong said.

Stahoviak and Monger could not sway Ellison to accept a west of Steamboat site.

Ellison argued the vitality of downtown business depends on the downtown location of government buildings.

Stahoviak and Monger stressed only the courts would move while all other county services would remain downtown.

Discussion about the judicial facility continues tonight at 7 p.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room. With a location determined, the board is now seeking input on size and cost.


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