Group gets executive director

Stettner named to lead Historic Routt County

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Historic Routt County has named its first executive director, a part-time paid position that is being filled by Arianthe Stettner.

Creating an executive director position was possible because of funds from the countywide Museum and Heritage Fund tax, which was approved in 2003, Stettner said. Historic Routt County receives more than $20,000 from the Heritage Tax, which is about one-third of the group's budget, she said.

"It's enough of a consistent funding source that the organization can say, 'Yes, we can hire someone to work for us at a professional level," Stettner said.

Stettner said she is looking forward to being a part of what she calls the "growing excitement and awareness of historic preservation and its benefits."

Historic Routt County's board of directors agreed that the executive director position was needed, president Patrick Delaney said.

"Even with our dedicated board and hard-working volunteers, it was difficult to continue this level of effort without an executive director," he said. "Arianthe has been a key member of HRC since its inception. She has excellent experience and knowledge regarding historic preservation needs in Routt County."

Stettner has lived in Routt County for 34 years. She was on the Steamboat Springs City Council from 1997 to 2003, was a founding member of Historic Routt County and was a charter member of the Routt County Historic Preservation Board.

Her part-time salary is $16,000 a year.

"It's very exciting for me," she said about the position. "I've been involved with Historic Routt County since before it existed, when there was no historic preservation activity going on."

She said she was looking forward to several events the organization has planned for May, which is historic preservation month.

On May 14, Historic Routt County will have its annual meeting and awards ceremony. This year, the recipient of the group's preservation leadership award is the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.

"They have done historic preservation for longer than any other entity that I can think of in Routt County," Stettner said. "We are thrilled to be able to make a big fuss over them and celebrate their accomplishments."

Also at the meeting, Historic Routt County will recognize the more than half-dozen properties that have been nominated to historic registers in the past year. Those include the Green Creek Ranch, the Seedhouse Guard Station and several homes in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The Preservation Summit will be held earlier on May 14. All museums and historic preservation groups, many of which benefit directly from the Museum and Heritage Fund tax, will discuss their missions, goals and what they are accomplishing.

The summit comes about a year and a half after the mill levy was approved, so there should be good updates, Stettner said.

The Preservation Summit is from 10 a.m. to noon May 14 at the Mesa Schoolhouse and will be followed by Historic Routt County's annual meeting from 2 to 4 p.m.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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