Questions surround judicial facility
Residents turn out to discuss cost, design
Steamboat Springs — The county’s decision on Tuesday to build a proposed judicial facility near the Routt County Jail wasn’t left idling for long.
Less than 24 hours after the Routt County Board of Commissioners answered the question of where new courtrooms belong, people posed new questions about the facility’s design and price tag.
A few dozen residents and county and court officials turned out Wednesday night to take up where the board left off.
The group made no collective decisions about what the judicial facility should look like and how much it should cost. Individuals differed on how much space was needed to adequately meet the court’s needs and whether it was wise to build for future growth.
County Commissioner Doug Monger reminded the group that voters indicated last fall they did not want to pay for tomorrow’s needs.
The proposed design on the November 2002 ballot would have served the county for the next 80 years.
“We need to consider what we really need,” Ed Neish said. He cautioned against the county blindly following judicial standards for courtrooms and related court functions.
The Routt County Courthouse holds two courtrooms.
The proposed judicial facility must include three courtrooms, as well as space for jury deliberation, court administration, judges’ chambers, probation staff and the District Attorney’s Office.
Some people questioned the practicality of trying to contest a court order in order to build a smaller facility.
In December, retired 14th Judicial District Richard Doucette ordered the county to find a way to finance and complete a new judicial facility by mid-2006.
“To go to the court and challenge the court is an absolute waste of your money,” Tom Fox said.
The group decided to bring in an architect for the next meeting, which is scheduled in two or three weeks, to better answer design and cost questions.
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