New law enforcement facility blueprints submitted to Steamboat city planners |

New law enforcement facility blueprints submitted to Steamboat city planners

Scott Franz

After 1,887 days of twists and turns, false starts and controversy, the city of Steamboat Springs has finally submitted plans for a new police headquarters to the city's planning department.

Now, the city and Routt County hope the schematics for their 25,908-square-foot shared law enforcement facility get approved in time for construction to start next year.

The facility will house both the Routt County Sheriff's Office and the city's police department.

"It's a big step for all of us, and it's certainly meeting the needs of the city and the county," County Manager Tom Sullivan said.

City planner Bob Keenan said he expects the planning commission will be able vet the 107-page plan for the facility later this summer.

In addition to the new facility next to the Routt County Jail, the proposal calls for a remodel of the existing sheriff's office building, a new eight-car garage and storage building and a new 21-space parking lot.

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The facility and associated remodels are estimated to cost about $16.46 million.

Sullivan said he thinks the city and the county are now in agreement on how the cost of the facility will be allocated between the different governments. But there are still some ongoing discussions about the value of the current facilities the county is going to remodel, and how that might affect the city’s share.

"We are pretty much done," Sullivan said.

According to the latest cost breakdown available, the city's bill for the shared facility comes to an estimated $11.2 million, while the county's share comes in at $5.3 million.

The plans submitted to city planning show the entire layout of the building and drill down into details as specific as the type of lighting and fixtures that will be used inside the building.

The city has since March 20, 2012, been working on its latest effort to replace the cramped and outdated police station on Yampa Street.

The project has taken several twists and turns.

At one point, the city entertained the highly controversial, and highly criticized, idea of building a new station at Rita Valentine Park.

A citizens committee, which spent months vetting different ideas, got the project back on track when it recommended the city join forces with the county and build a shared facility to house both governments' law enforcement officers.

The Steamboat Springs City Council embraced the idea and thinks the new building will lead to operational efficiencies and savings for taxpayers.

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