Rec center nixes pool plans

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— The Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association's board president announced Tuesday that the association is withdrawing its plans to build an indoor pool.

Bud Romberg told the Steamboat Springs City Council that the association no longer plans to build the pool because of a lack of support.

The association is a private, nonprofit organization that runs the recreation center at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue. The organization has presented plans to build an indoor pool in place of the outdoor lap and leisure pools. The plans also included renovations to the hot pools and a new fitness center.

Romberg said some of the association's members were polled, and they indicated they did not want to lose the outdoor pools. Also, members of the City Council and Steamboat Springs Planning Commission said the project was too massive and did not belong at that location.

The Health and Rec board plans to move forward with other renovations, such as work on the hot springs, Romberg said. Also, the association will continue looking for other land, such as the space occupied next door by the post office.

Council member Towny Anderson told Romberg that he wanted to see the board work with the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission about plans for a potential community recreation center.

"It doesn't make sense to have these discussions until facilitation takes place," Anderson said.

Romberg didn't understand the need for such a meeting because the association has taken away its plans for an indoor pool.

"I'm not sure what facilitation is supposed to accomplish at this point," Romberg said. "Council's the only one who can answer the questions that we have raised."

If there is facilitation, Romberg said, "I want something good to come out of it."

However, he said, the association board will do the meeting.

"We have said that we are willing to talk, and we will talk," he said.

Anderson told Romberg that the council wants to recognize the association's work.

"We respect the role that you've played in this community," Anderson said.

The council will revisit the issue July 18.

In other business, the council:

Discussed the city's big-box ordinance, which requires that commercial development projects larger than a certain size provide ample public benefit. Council members said they would like to the see the ordinance apply to all parts of the city.

Discussed affordable housing issues. One topic was the possibility of a land acquisition fund. The fund would be made up of payments-in-lieu for building affordable housing, which would pay for land for housing projects.

Reviewed joint community plan action items. The city and the county have identified accomplishments they want to make, and some of them must be done cooperatively. Priorities included preparing an open space master plan and developing a regional economic strategic plan.

Talked about the West Steamboat Springs Area Plan. Officials talked about city and county funding of infrastructure in the area.

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