Tuesday, October 19, 2004
The Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association wants its facility to grow and is asking for the city's help to do so.
A study by the Health and Recreation Association in 1999 showed that demands for recreational services could expand the facility by another 37,000 square feet, an addition expected to cost $8 million.
The study also found the community desired another lap pool, gymnasium, youth center, indoor track, racquet ball and squash courts.
The Health and Recreation Association members came before the City Council on Tuesday night and asked that the city work with them in creating a community plan to figure out what the community's recreational needs are.
"We can see this is going to go beyond our means at some point," said Health and Rec board member Jeff Troeger. "We are not here to ask for money, what I want to do is try to start a dialogue in terms of recreation needs."
The council directed Director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Chris Wilson to work with the Health and Rec and encouraged the group to return to the council when they had more information.
Councilwoman Nancy Kramer suggested that the Health and Rec update the study done in 1999 and might even consider hiring another consultant to look at ways to expand.
The Health and Rec officials talked about their desire to grow, and Troeger said an ideal solution would be to acquire the post office facility at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue, if it ever became available, so it could expand on the adjacent parcel of land.
Councilwoman Susan Dellinger said that after conversations with the post office, she was unsure whether they would be willing to sell. She said that post office was one of the few in the country that was able to make a profit, mainly because it could lease the space in the building.
Health and Rec Manager Pat Carney said they also have looked at building another 20,000 square feet over the parking lot next to the existing building or even building another 40,000 square feet if the expansion was a two-story expansion. And there is potential for a parking garage on the land the Health and Rec owns.
"We could intensify the site," she said.
Troeger said because of the hot springs, the Health and Rec would like to stay in its location.
Council President Paul Strong said there have been recent discussions on forming a recreation district, which could raise taxes, and said he saw the Health and Rec's expansion plans fitting into that discussion.
Councilwoman Kathy Connell suggested that the Health and Rec work with other recreational groups to see whether there is common ground and a chance to work together for funding.
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