Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Steamboat Springs A contribution agreement proposed by Grand Summit Resort Properties has the hotel paying half of what the city originally asked to put toward improvements to Mount Werner Circle.
Early this summer, the traffic improvement project was bid at more than $700,000 with the city expecting to pay $121,867 and the Grand $600,000. But that number was a surprise to the Grand and the Grand and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation worked with the city to come up with a different plan attorney Bob Weiss said.
The contribution proposal has the Grand paying $300,000 to the city, with $241,000 going to the Mount Werner Circle improvement project and $59,000 going to remodeling the Gondola Transit Center.
The city would be required to pay $127,000 for that portion of the circle's improvements.
"Having conversations with the city, those are the numbers that will probably work for them," Weiss said.
Ski Corps' in-house counsel and the Grand's lenders have not approved the contribution agreement, which was presented to the council at Tuesday's meeting.
City Council President Kathy Connell said the council is not going to make a decision until the Grand receives backing.
The contribution agreement would replace the development agreement put in place when the Grand was approved.
"They are in violation of an agreement. Right now we recognize they have some financial issues. They need to come up with an agreement saying this is what we want to pay and are willing to get," Connell said.
Connell said when any developer large or small is in violation of a development agreement, the city can act on the violations in two ways: either by taking legal action or working with the two parties.
Because the city was unsure of what traffic changes had to be made when the plan was approved five years ago, the Grand did not set aside any funds to guarantee completion like it did for water and sewer projects.
The construction project that was bid in June went from the entrance of the parking garage adjacent to the Gondola Transit Center to the service entrance at Burgess Creek Road.
It called for the road to be narrowed to two lanes from the current four lanes, to add walkways across the street from the Grand and to install pedestrian crossways.
But under the contribution agreement, City Director of Public Works Jim Webber said those plans have been cut back.
Now the city is looking at the only new sidewalks taking pedestrians into Ski Time Square and no sidewalks bordering Mount Werner Circle on the side opposite the Grand.
There will also be no landscaping on the medians in between lanes.
Connell Resources submitted the lowest bid for the original project at $740,742. The city could not accept the bid without commitment from the Grand. However, Weber said Connell Resources is willing to wait.
In a second agreement, Ski Corp. agreed to pay $100,000 toward the design, engineering and construction improvements to the Gondola Transit Center.
The city would pay no more than $79,500.
The remodeling of the Gondola Transit Center cannot occur until the traffic changes to Mount Werner Circle are complete