The Steamboat Springs City Council will look at a contract tonight to purchase 15 acres of land from the Union Pacific Railroad Company and between the Stock Bridge Transit Center and the James Brown bridge.
The council is being asked to approve the first reading of an ordinance for the purchase of the 15 acres, which sits along the Yampa River. The land costs $107,000; about $90,000 will be covered by a grant from the Great Outdoors of Colorado and through the Yampa River Legacy Project. The city is expected to spend $17,000 from its impact fee fund to purchase the land.
In the ordinance language, it is noted that the city thinks the purchase of the property would provide the city with critical control over and access to the Yampa River and that the purchase would be in the best interest of the city.
The ordinance language also notes that the Union Pacific Railroad had determined it no longer needed land beyond 50 feet from the centerline of the railroad tracks.
In a memo to the council, City Attorney Tony Lettunich noted the railroad is doing an inventory of the excess land it owns and is trying to sell the land to municipalities.
Union Pacific must close on the deal by Dec. 20, and the council's second reading of the ordinance is set for Nov. 16.
The last time the city bought land from the railroad was in 1998, Lettunich noted in his memo. In that purchase, the city bought 8 acres from the Southern Pacific Real Estate Enterprises. The land was between the Depot Art Center and the Stock Bridge Transit Center, and was used to extend the Yampa River Core Trail. The transaction also included portions of the Yampa River riverbed.
The memo also stated that the railroad may require the city to fence the property line between the city and railroad.
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