Routt County signs on to help pay for early design drawings for new cop shop
Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Dec.13 to execute a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the city of Steamboat Springs that commits the county to spending $86,203 toward a schematic design for a new shared law enforcement facility.
The city previously approved the MOU, which does not bind either party to constructing the building on a parcel of county-owned land adjacent to the current sheriff’s office on Steamboat’s west side. The city will contribute $129,304 to the set of drawings or 60 percent of the total cost of $215,507.
The cost split is proportional to how much of the facility each government entity will eventually occupy. The estimated final cost of building the facility is $18 million.
Asked if both the city and county are taking a leap of faith by committing to share the $215,507, Commission Chairwoman Cari Hermacinski said, “I think we’re beyond a leap of faith. We’re at a point now where we’re spending real money, and we’re ready for a real drawing that tells us exactly how the rooms are going to be laid out.”
County Manager Tom Sullivan said the commission drawings will give the city and county a clearer picture of the space that will be allotted to the city police department and county sheriff’s office.
Hermacinski ventured there may be additional MOUs signed before construction begins, hopefully in 2018.
And language in this MOU makes it plain that either side can still back out of the project.
Just the same, Commissioner Doug Monger, who has served on a joint city/county committee moving the project forward, indicated the two sides are pretty well bound together.
“I think we’re at the dance, and we picked our partner,” Monger said.
Both Monger and Commissioner Tim Corrigan said they would have a difficult time committing to more than the county’s current projected $6 million share of total construction costs for the new building.
Much of the estimated cost per square foot of the building, at $450, can be attributed to the fact that law enforcement facilities have been classified by the international building code as an “essential building” since Hurricane Katrina.
That means more concrete and more steel among other beefed-up construction standards, Sullivan said.
And Sullivan issued a cautionary note, pointing out that there are more soft costs that aren’t included in the construction estimate, which will have to be reckoned with. These would include desks to telecommunications wiring.
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