Construction Scheduled to Begin on New Sheriff’s Headquarters and Coroner’s Facility
Colorado Springs, CO, June 18, 2012 - It’s been two years since the Board of Commissioners unanimously gave their approval to El Paso County’s Strategic Moves Initiative (SMI) which marked the beginning of a series of moves of county offices and agencies to provide better service for county residents and more efficient facilities for county workers. “We are now past the halfway point in the various projects that began in June of 2010, Deputy County Administrator Monnie Gore commented as he presented an SMI update to the Board during its regular meeting today.
The first and largest of the four major projects outlined in the Strategic Moves Initiative was development of the new El Paso County Citizens Service Center (CSC). Located in the former Intel building at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road, CSC now provides El Paso County Citizens a convenient one stop location to access services and records from County Clerk and Recorder, Assessor, and Treasurer as well as El Paso County Public Health, the Department of Human Services and the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. “It’s been a real success,” commented County Assessor Mark Lowderman, “a lot of the citizens who stop by our office to get property and tax records are also carrying license plates (purchased at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office) so we know that they are taking advantage of convenience and efficiency in needing to make only one trip to the county offices.”
Next came the move of County Administrative Offices including, County Attorney, Budget and Finance, Economic Development, Public Information and the Board of County Commissioners into Centennial Hall at 200 South Cascade Avenue. That move was completed at the first of the year.
Construction is now beginning to remodel and repurpose the County Office Building at 27 East Vermijo and will begin soon on the former Sheriff’s Training Academy. The Sheriff’s Office will consolidate its Administration, Law Enforcement Bureau, Training Academy and Emergency Dispatch into the County Office Building. Sheriff Terry Maketa says, “decentralization of deputies is a good thing but our administration is decentralized which is not efficient.” Maketa also told Commissioners that moving emergency dispatch to the County Office Building will be a “move in the right direction” toward getting accreditation for that facility. Emergency dispatch is not eligible for certification because it is located in a flood plain.
The former Sheriff’s Training Academy will be remodeled and expanded to serve the growing needs of the Coroner’s Office. County Coroner Dr. Robert Bux told Commissioners, “Our current building is a perfect example (from 1985) of what happens when a county doesn’t plan for the future. Storage was problem when we moved in and now it’s a disaster. Now we are building for the future; taking care of this problem for decades.” The Sheriff’s Office is expected to move into its new facilities in December and the Coroner’s move will be completed early next year.
In addition to the projects originally outlined and financed through the Strategic Moves Initiative, the County has also been working to complete companion projects improving energy efficiency in buildings throughout the county and upgrading Information Technology Infrastructure to meet data security requirements and provide more online services for citizens.
SMI and companion projects are being completed with no increase in taxes and no decrease in county services. County Budget Officer Nicola Sapp explained, “Our public financing offering resulted in $50.5 million in proceeds for SMI projects. We knew that State and Federal Funds allocated to provide facilities for El Paso County Public Health, the Pikes Peak Workforce Center and the Department of Human Services as well as restricted fees for the Clerk and Recorder’s Office were available for the SMI projects so we were able to use existing sources of revenue.” Companion projects totaling approximately $10 million being funded through a combination of energy efficiency grants, operational savings, reductions in maintenance and repair costs and restricted funds.
Commissioner Amy Lathen thanked staff members who presented the update noting, “We made the right decision to go ahead with Strategic Moves. It was the right thing to do and we had overwhelming support from citizens groups, business groups and town halls.”
Commissioner Darryl Glenn added, “I too want to extend my appreciation to staff. I think it is very important that we are open to the public, be very transparent about this process and the challenges this board and previous boards have had to address. It’s a success story. I appreciate the presentation.
Contact: Dave Rose
Public Information Officer
Phone: 520-6540 Cell: 337-9239