Council hears community center ideas

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If a bond issue to expand the Bud Werner Memorial Library passes, Steamboat Springs' community center will be torn down.

The City Council heard recommendations Tuesday night to address the potential need the bond issue could create.

n Approved an ordinance setting special connector terms and conditions, which state the obligations of any district connecting to the city's wastewater treatment plant or interceptor line. The city received a letter Monday from the Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District stating that officials want more than 30 changes made to the terms and conditions document.

n Voted 4-1 to allow staff to review the suggested changes before the next Steamboat Springs Water Commission meeting, when the matter will be discussed. Nancy Kramer was the dissenting vote, stating that the council was missing an opportunity to discuss Mount Werner officials' concerns.

n Tabled the first reading of an ordinance that would create a graduated schedule of fines for people who ride skateboards, bicycles, roller skates and ski skates on sidewalks and roads where they are not supposed to ride. The current fine is $10 per offense.

n Heard a report about the city's sales tax revenues for August.

If voters approve the library expansion Nov. 1, the Lincoln Park Community Center will be razed to make room for the expansion. A steering committee has been formed to investigate possible uses for a new center. The committee recommended Tuesday that the City Council make it a priority to build a new center before the current one is torn down.

Committee members said that the new center should be centrally located, with good parking and good access. Land that has been considered for the new center is city-owned property at the Stock Bridge Transit Center, but other city-owned property could be investigated. The new site should be selected with current user groups and future expansion needs in mind, according to the committee.

The city is also taking steps, through the budget process, to set aside $1.5 million in capital-improvement project funding to pay for a new center. The committee wants to use easily accessible funds to pay for the center.

The committee recommended that the new center be more functional and more easily accessible than the current one. Uses that the committee liked include health and fitness areas for activities such as yoga and aerobics as well as areas for small children to play. Flexible gathering spaces for meetings and classes, as well as flexible space for multiple activities at one time, also were recommended.

The committee said that large space for community parties and teen dances should be available. City Council member Steve Ivancie said he was concerned about teenagers having a place to hang out.

Also, city officials should consider amenities including a climbing wall and an indoor pool, according to the committee.

City Council member Ken Brenner also said he hoped to involve Steamboat Springs School District officials in the idea-generating process for the community center.

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