City selects $439,000 consultant for streetscape study

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The rooftop from the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue shows a downtown streetscape that is under construction and busy Sunday afternoon. City officials have hired a consulting firm for a $439,000 improvement plan for the downtown streetscape.

On the 'Net

Learn more about Britina Design Group, the Arvada consulting firm hired to design improvements to Steamboat's downtown streetscape, on the Web at: www.britina.com

— City officials have selected a consultant for a $439,000 project to revitalize downtown Steamboat Springs.

Jim Weber, city director of public works, said Britina Design Group of Arvada has been hired as the lead consultant for the city's Downtown Streetscape Improvements Plan, which will "address and identify the future character of the downtown commercial district : including Lincoln (Avenue), Yampa Street and Oak Street from Third Street to 13th Street." Funding for the plan will come from the city's general fund, Weber said.

The plan will include elements such as increased trees, improved curbs and sidewalks, new streetlights and trash receptacles, more signs highlighting city attractions such as Howelsen Hill and better benches, bus stops and bike racks. The plan also could suggest locations for a future downtown parking garage, public restrooms and the removal of parking spaces on one side of the street to widen Lincoln Avenue.

Britina has designed downtown streetscapes for Front Range municipalities including Erie and Arvada and currently is designing a streetscape for the Western Slope town of Eagle.

"They have a lot of experience with similar projects," Weber said of the firm.

DuBord said the cost is appropriate given the size and scope of the downtown improvement project.

"This is more than just a study - there is actual engineering that will be done as well," Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said. "This is an area about five or six times the size of the base area redevelopment."

Weber said he hopes to take construction bids for downtown improvements in January and February 2009.

"A year from now, we need to have ideas in place for the Lincoln corridor," he said.

Weber said the city's Mountain Town Sub-Area Plan, adopted in 1999, spurred the need for downtown design improvements.

The plan identified the base of Steamboat Ski Area, the U.S. Highway 40 corridor and downtown as three distinct areas for design upgrades. The city implemented its Urban Renewal Authority at the base area in 2005 to fund public improvements that began with an official kick-off earlier this month. The city currently is working with Denver-based consultants Clarion Associates and Civitas Inc. to improve design standards along U.S. 40 at entryway areas into Steamboat.

Weber said the numerous construction projects slated for downtown also are driving the need for new, unified design standards. Projects totaling more than 2 million square feet are slated to break ground in the Steamboat Springs area this summer.

Downtown design improvements will be coordinated with the Colorado Department of Transportation, which will conduct asphalt work on Lincoln Avenue in 2009.

The downtown improvement process will involve significant input from the community, although Weber said no timetable or schedule for public meetings with Britina has been set.

Questions regarding downtown design standards should be directed to Weber at 871-8243 or jweber@steamboatsprings.net.

To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 5 months ago

Gee- for $500, I could have told them what they wanted to know:

Downtown is revitalizing itself as we speak. Let it happen!

There! I could have just save the city $438,500.00 without breaking a sweat.

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another_local 7 years, 5 months ago

Another half million in consultants. Just great.

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WZ4EVER 7 years, 5 months ago

Several weeks ago, Pual Strong requested an accounting of the total amount this amatuer Council has spent on outside consultants. I have not heard what that answer is yet, but this is WAY OVER THE TOP. Look at it this way....the City gets the general fund money from its 4% sales tax. $439,000 represents $10,975,000 in retail spending. That is about what is generated by 36,000 SF of retail business space, or about both sides of one whole block of Lincoln Avenue's total sales tax, just for one study. I can't wait until November...FIVE SEATS ARE UP, can't come soon enough.

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elphaba 7 years, 5 months ago

This Council has gone beyond the pale with studies. They are incapable of any decision making- instead - hire it done and if you don't agree - shelve the study. What the heck - the taxpayers can always fund another! November can't come soon enough to get rid of them and put the City finances back in control.

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upriver 7 years, 5 months ago

I guess it would be too hard to find a volunteer group of representative citizens of Steamboat Springs and have them do a study, for example by interviewing groups representing our various constituencies such as retailers, homeowners, non-retail business owners, second homeowners, even tourists and present the results of that study to the council. It might cost a few thousand dollars.

Spending $439,000 on an outside consultant who doesn't know Steamboat is, as elphaba, says "beyond the pale". If that consultant is any good at all he/she is going to do what I suggested above or risk making big stupid mistakes.

Will Steamboat get any kind of performance guarantee that the consultant's study will be worth $439,000?

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kingsride 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow hash, I actually agree with your comment here, and you didnt even make it all about you....yet!

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another_local 7 years, 5 months ago

I doubt you will find downtown property owners in favor of this boondoogle. This is not something being driven by private profit for developers... it is simply the drunken sailor effect in council. Sales tax revenues are up and they figure they better spend the money.

Heaven forbid we would simply run a surplus and put the extra away for a rainy day, pay down debt or buy land for future needs.

Hash, don't put this one on private enterprise. This is strictly city council idiocy. The folks that elected these knucklheads should pay... and guess what? We are.

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Vince arroyo 7 years, 5 months ago

Well with all the local engineers busy with all the other local projects. They had to hire outside people. If the City Council, Commissioners. had at least 1/4 of us whom voted for them at some of those meetings ?????

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