Judicial facility decision looms | SteamboatToday.com
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Judicial facility decision looms

County commissioners will vote on location tonight

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to decide tonight where to build a new judicial facility.

Residents are invited to offer final thoughts on a location during the 6 p.m. meeting in the commissioners hearing room.

Two public hearings to gauge public opinion on the best location have already been held.



Residents packed the commissioners’ hearing room in February and March to tell county officials whether they supported a downtown location or a site west of Steamboat Springs.

A few suggested splitting the new courtrooms between the downtown and west of Steamboat sites.



Supporters of building the judicial facility across from the Routt County Courthouse stressed the importance of preserving the vitality of downtown business and the traditional location of courtrooms in the heart of the community.

Advocates of building new courtrooms by the Routt County Jail suggested that public safety would improve if police did not have to transport inmates downtown.

Advocates for the site west of town believe land costs would be cheaper than a downtown location.

County officials scribbled residents’ ideas down on large white tablets.

Dozens of arguments for and against the three locations lined the walls by the end of the March 5 meeting.

The county compiled all the arguments, and the board will take them into account when choosing a site.

County officials are aware people hold deep-seated views about both locations. None of the three commissioners would indicate a preference for either site prior to tonight’s meeting.

A decision on location is necessary before the county can begin to answer questions about size and appearance. County officials feel a sense of urgency to identify a site and move forward with the project as quickly as possible.

Retired 14th Judicial District Richard Doucette ordered the county to find a way to finance and complete a new judicial facility by mid-2006.


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