Steamboat Springs From sculptures to trees, five conceptual drawing City Council will see for ways to improve a 1.8-mile stretch of median on U.S. Highway 40 range the beautification gamut.
A volunteer group wants to improve the median between Pine Grove Road and Walton Creek Road, a stretch which is now mostly rocks and dirt with scattered shrubbery.
At the suggestion of the volunteer group, which is headed by Jim Cook, last winter the city held a design contest for ways to beautify the median. Five designs from different landscaping and design firms came back to the city and will be on display at tonight's meeting, said Chris Wilson director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services.
The design ideas include having sculptures in the median, creating an area that recognizes the history of the valley and using plants, Wilson said. The designs will be displayed in a gallery format in the foyer of Centennial Hall tonight. The total area for improvement is about 1.3 acres, in a 13.5-foot wide, 1.8-mile stretch.
The council will not be asked to pick a design concept at tonight's meeting, but the volunteer group will be looking for the council's reaffirmed support so it can move onto to the next phase of the project.
"We are really looking at council to see if it wants us to keep working and if it supports the volunteer efforts," Wilson said. "We aren't asking for any money, we aren't asking for a decision."
The volunteer group would like to meet with the city staff and a member of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council to finalize which conceptual plan to use for the median.
Once a plan is chosen, the city will have a better idea of how much the improvements would cost, how they would be phased and what funding opportunities are available.
The cost of the project will depend on whether an irrigation system, concrete or lights are needed, Wilson said.
The median is owned by the Colorado Department of Transportation, but the city has an agreement to maintain medians within city limits.
The council has long talked about improving the medians that are part of the south entrance to town, but has yet to dedicate funding to such an effort. During the 2004 budget talks, council voted to eliminate $20,000 that had been budgeted for South Lincoln Avenue median improvements this year and put the money toward more pressing needs.
The five-year, capital improvement plan has almost $1 million dedicated to improving the median on South Lincoln Avenue.
-- To reach Christine Metz, call 871-4229 or e-mail email@example.com