Steamboat Springs City Council provides update on police station negotiations | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs City Council provides update on police station negotiations

Scott Franz

The quest to build a new police station in Steamboat Springs is entering its fourth year.

— If negotiations between the city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County over building a shared law enforcement facility in west Steamboat were a football game, City Councilwoman Kathi Meyer said the game would be in the second quarter.

Meyer said Monday the talks have been very collaborative and productive.

"Every time the group gets together — and it's been a large group — it's like there's more new ideas. Good ideas," Meyer said. "If we're going to do this once, we want to make sure we have the best facility. And something that's going to last 30 to 40 years."

The city and the county are working to come up with a plan for how to best share a new law enforcement facility next to the Routt County Jail.

The building would house the city's police force and some functions of the Routt County Sheriff's Office.

And elected officials believe the project would save taxpayer dollars by sharing space, such as reception areas and training rooms, instead of two government entities building separate, redundant facilities on their own.

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Councilman Scott Ford, who sits on the negotiating team with Meyer, recently provided a written update of the talks.

He said the city is looking into purchasing the 42,000 square feet of vacant land next to the current Sheriff's Office as a site for the facility. The city is eyeing a land cost of between $15 to $16 per square foot.

Architectural firms working for the city and the county have been given the green light to start discussing the design of a shared facility.

"Both city and county have encouraged these architectural firms to look creatively for opportunities where shared space could be accomplished for logistics and efficiencies," Ford wrote.

Ford said a space to hold juveniles is one example of a potential shared space.

Currently, juveniles in police custody are taken to Moffat County because the city and the county here do not have a place to hold them.

Ford said the negotiating team is discussing a scenario in which the new law enforcement facility would be owned by the city, and the Sheriff's Office would lease the space in it.

The city’s and the county's elected officials had hoped to have the framework of a deal in place by Thanksgiving, but Ford reported the timeline has been extended.

He said it is now more likely that cost estimates for the facility will be discussed in December.

In the meantime, Meyer said she and other members of the negotiating team plan to take a field trip to the shared public safety facility in Craig.

The success of that facility, which houses the Colorado State Patrol, the Craig Police Department and the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, spurred a citizens committee to strongly recommend a shared facility to the Steamboat City Council.

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