Police station committee members are selected
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs City Council has picked the seven citizens who will spend the next four months helping the city build a new police station.
Committee members include John Kerst, vice president of Yampa Valley Bank; Charlie MacArthur, vice president of operations at Native Excavating; Gary Cogswell, owner of Cogswell Construction; Judy Tremaine, a former court reporter and paralegal; Nancy Kramer, program coordinator for the Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Tourism program; Tom Leeson, a former planning director for the city; and Tyler Goodman, executive director of Bike Town USA.
Steve Sehnert, CFO of H+L Architecture, will serve as the alternate.
The citizens committee will help determine the scope of the station and the best place to build it. Financing options will also be analyzed.
After two hours of interviews, the council seated committee members with a wide range of ages and professional backgrounds.
Council members noted Kerst was instrumental in realizing the construction of Yampa Valley Medical Center at its current location despite some initial fierce opposition from neighbors.
Goodman, one of the youngest members of the committee, said he has a knack for creating consensus and wants to be able to one day drive by the station with his kids and be able to say he helped pick out its location.
Kramer, who served on the design committee for the Routt County Courthouse, said she believes the station needs to be moved out of downtown to make way for redevelopment.
MacArthur said the need for the station hasn’t been proven yet, and he was the wrong guy to choose for the committee if it wasn’t going to first assess that need.
Tremaine described herself as a big supporter of law enforcement and said her experience as a courts reporter and paralegal will come in handy because she is familiar with law enforcement and their facility needs.
Leeson, the Steamboat planning director turned redevelopment program manager for the city of Fort Collins, said he specializes in public-private partnerships and believes the city should start pursuing potential partnerships with other public entities to construct the police station here.
And Cogswell, who has 39 years in the construction industry, served on the citizens committee that recommended the remodel of Steamboat Springs High School instead of the construction of a new school out of town.
The 23 applicants for the committee were quizzed about their ability to make meetings, whether they thought the police station is a need and what unique ability they brought to the table, among other things.
The council passed over two applicants who used to work as police officers in Steamboat but voted to give the committee the opportunity to use consultants during their work if it decides they are needed.
The council also learned many of the prospective committee applicants have grown weary of how the police station project has gone thus far, and they want to help restore confidence in the project and see it through in a timely manner.
The first meeting date for the committee hasn’t been set yet.
The group will work with council president Bart Kounovsky and council member Walter Magill, who will serve as non-voting members.
The council wants a recommendation for the police station by Aug. 1.
In other action, the council:
• Approved a request for proposals that will be sent out for the city’s Iron Horse Inn. The council moved to “cast a wide net” and invite any type of proposal for the property, ranging from redevelopment to new management. Interested parties will have 60 days to submit their proposals to the city for consideration.
• Expressed unanimous support for a new working group that will explore potential alternative funding sources for parks and recreation amenities in the city.
• Approved a request to allow the Alpiner Lodge in downtown to continue operating as a dormitory. The lodge is serving as workforce housing.
• Approved the second and final reading of a supplemental budget that will allow the Workman property on Yampa Street to be converted into a public park this summer.
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Yampatika, an environmental education nonprofit based in Steamboat Springs, will host its 22nd annual Wild Edible Feast on Thursday evening, May 26, at Aurum Food & Wine.