Michael Turner: Concerning 2B, 2C

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Based on the Talking Points fact sheet distributed by Citizens for a Community Recreation Center, please consider the following counterpoints concerning Referendums 2B and 2C:

- Their slogan is "For You, For Me, For our Community." If this recreation center is for the entire community, why should it be paid for only by residents and businesses who own property within the city limits? There is a very large portion of our community consisting of residents immediately adjoining the city limits. They would enjoy the benefits without paying for its construction and continuing operation.

- They state $34 million for the new center. But in parenthesis, it also says $66,495,000 over 20 years to repay the bond. In reality, we are going to be paying for a $66 million recreation center. - The Talking Points state that we can expect our costs to be offset in the future because potentially 1,000 more homes are expected to be annexed into the city. Expected by whom? This is an assumption, not a fact. It is irresponsible to include something that "might" happen in any fiscal planning.

- Land for the proposed new facility will be donated by the city. The Talking Points state that "the City of Steamboat is working as a community partner with Old Town Hot Springs to ensure the future sustainability of this long standing, historical amenity." I cannot understand how the city contributing land that is possibly worth millions of dollars to this recreation center, which will actually compete with the Old Town Hot Springs and other privately owned facilities in town, can be construed as working to ensure their future sustainability. Is it appropriate for a municipal government to enter into an endeavor with our tax dollars that directly competes with other private enterprises and the Old Town Hot Springs, a nonprofit public facility?

- The Talking Points also state that the city will develop an agreement with Old Town Hot Springs with regard to the Fitness Center that will "potentially" allow only 25 percent of the needed equipment for the 5,000-square-foot space in the first year and be revisited each year until such time that OTHS business is no longer affected by the new Fitness Center." This is a vague statement. Exactly who will "revisit" this each year? Will the city appoint another new committee to be the "Revisiting Committee?" The reality is that this new center will be in direct competition with OTHS and the other fitness centers in town. - Should you decide to vote to construct this facility and utilize it, be aware that you will pay for it three times if you live within the city limits. First, through a property tax to construct it that could cost as much as $66 million over 20 years. You pay again through a second property tax that could possibly last in perpetuity for continued maintenance and operating deficit. Information distributed by the CCRC shows a projected operating deficit for 2010 of $516,000. Finally, if you choose to utilize the facility, you will pay a third time through annual membership fees.

- Do you want to add to your long-term tax burden building a Taj Mahal facility that a small vocal group has decided we need because Glenwood Springs, Aspen or Vail has one, or because they had one where they moved here from? Or should we concentrate on things such as roads, schools, police and fire while enjoying the abundant and endless recreational opportunities that this wonderful community already provides?

Remember, it's really $66 million.

Michael Turner

Comments

techno_babble 7 years, 6 months ago

And the cost of living here goes up another notch.

Now, lets all whine about affordable housing.

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twostroketerror 7 years, 6 months ago

OTHS has under served and overcharged this town for too long. I would gladly pay a little more $ to actually be able to work out without feeling like I'm at a daycare center. Vote yes, It'll make you feel good. Anyway, don't we have "unrestricted reserves" now? Seems like it was meant to happen.....

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titsikama 7 years, 6 months ago

Michael, To address your last papragraph first. As stated above this is not a small vocal group. Studies of been done for over 2 years and the majority of the community has expressed a desire to have a recreation center. Though titled a recreation center it encomposes so much more-Youth and Teen areas (which have been promised for years), Indoor play spaces for young children (the only current place is McDonalds) and a great gathering space. You are fortunate that you can enjoy outdoor activities; some can't due to injury, age or disability and it is very difficult for some of those to use OTHS. And in reality you pay for all that outdoor recreation as well. Our tax dollars support the Natilonal Forests, BLM, State Parks, Howelson, Bike Paths etc... Not to mention many people are willing to very easily shell $1,0000.00 for a ski pass that is used only part of the year and only serves themselves (not intended as a negative statement, just putting things in prespective). In small towns all over Australia (not anything like Vail or Aspen) they have recreation centers. They serve as a gathering place for people of all ages, protect them people from skin cancer, provide youth and teen spaces connected to something to do. They are not bad things and do not change a town into Vail or Aspen, other factors do that. Otherwise every town with a Recreation Center throughout the United States would be one. Secondly the money for this does not come from roads, schools, fire etc... It does not come from the general funds. The city council wisely choice this source of funding so that would not happen. Many of your other concerns have been addressed in previous posts. I don't mind that you ask people to look closely at numbers etc.. but your last paragraph is simply a scare tactic.

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elkeye 7 years, 6 months ago

Once again BoulderGrad fails to include the "white elephant" included in the proposed recreation center, namely the competition pool that is driving this entire illconceived project!

Two indoor gyms, a walking/jogging track, indoor playground, turf field, youth & teen center, zero-depth entry for small children are just lipstick on a pig.

Yes BoulderGrad, it really is $66 million unless you and your small group of vocal supporters want to write a check today!

As for the annexation of the "Steamboat 700", how do you spell "R-E-F-E-R-E-N-D-U-M". The residents of the City of Steamboat Springs (not the seven members on the City Council) will probably have the final vote on the proposed annexation of the seven hundred acres known as the "Steamboat 700".

Who has proposed the annexation of Silver Spur, Heritage Park and/or Steamboat II?

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titsikama 7 years, 6 months ago

Elkeye, I think it wrong for you to assume that this is all centered around a pool. It did not drive this project. I hate lap swimming. For many this started with the Community Center where Youth and Teen were not included. The facilities for them have promised for years. Have you been to the Igloo? Attended games at the schools at 10:30 pm? Recreated with toddlers at McDonalds? Been injured or in a wheel chair and tried to recreate here? Have had a stroke and can't walk on icy sidewalks? Yes the pool is part of the picture, but it is only a small part, otherwise we could have just added one to OTHS. Even without annexation (and I don't know who proposed it) there is still a multitude of housing coming on the market (Wildhorse, Moore Barn, downtown projects) etc... Again this is not a small group of vocal supporters-we are talking over 2 years of public meetings (did you attend?) and the people of Steamboat Springs have said they would like to vote on a center. This is an investment in our community. I use the word investment becuase it is not free; niether is your car; your house; bike trails; open space; roads; "free" summer concerts; ski passes; affordable housing etc... These are all investments in ourselves and our community.

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retiredinss 7 years, 6 months ago

Some good counter points being raised to the supporters talking points. I would add a few thoughts:

  1. As mentioned by BoulderGrad the architects and engineers added factors to 'allow' for inflation. Basically what they did was take the cost per sq ft of a building elsewhere, already built and escalate it for both time-to 2009 I think, and for location-from where ever to SS. This is all they could do given there is no design, no engineering, no soil work, no environmental studies or impact statement, etc. From prior experience, I can tell you that such an estimate (and don't forget that's what it is) has an accuracy of about 50%-in other words the $34 mill could be as high as $51 million. Do not be deluded that the factors that the architects included will cover the actual costs.

  2. Supporters and non-supporters need to look at the projections for the operating loss of the proposed recreation center and compare those to the operating losses of currently functioning centers. The approximately $500,000 seems to be very low, when compared to other facilities.

  3. Both sides need to ask what else we will be asked to pay for in this and coming elections. Those of you who own property here have seen your assessed values increase dramatically (I think the average in SS is about 40% for residences.). Does this presage a tax hike of similar amount?

  4. Supporters need to explain why the city should build and maintain this facility, rather than have private enterprise do so. Where are the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, Bally, World Gym, etc.? Are they interested in building and operating a recreation center here? If not, why not? Could it be that, with all their experience and acumen in this business, they do not see a demand for such a facility? It seems to me private enterprise works pretty well in our town when it comes to filling unmet needs. We have Walmart, we have the big box retail sports business, we have new owners of the ski business.

  5. Regardless of where you stand on the recreation center, all need to ask what proportion of the city budget is already spent on parks, recreation and open space, versus the more traditional city functions, like police, fire, roads, water and sewer, and can we afford to increase this proportion. Remember that once the facility is built, regardless of use, we the taxpayers are going to have to pay a bill for at least 20 years.

Thanks.

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elphaba 7 years, 6 months ago

I usually don't agree with Michael Turner but he is right on on this one. Vote NO on the rec center and the subsidy for it. It is too much for the benefit of too few.

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ffv 7 years, 6 months ago

retiredinss- One of the reasons why these consultant were selected is because their projects have an excellent track record of coming in under their proposed estimates. In their 40 or so facilities only a couple were over budget. Of those they were within 5% of the budget estimates. So your 50% is way, way off. Also, the ballot issue is for $34M, so if the building cost is over then either it doesn't get built or other funds will need to be raised to cover the overrun. If we get to that point you and the town should have some input as to whether to move forward with the project.

As for the operational cost, the $500,000 is to cover projected operational budget shortfall it isn't the entire operational budget.

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elkeye 7 years, 6 months ago

titsikama,

The six-lane competition pool and diving well is NOT "only a small part" of the proposed recreation center . The competition pool and diving well is a $10-12 million item.

A six-lane competition pool and diving well could not be added to the current site of OTHS without destroying all or part of their current outdoor swim lanes. OTHS tired this at the urging of a small group and without the support of its membership. Moreover, this project was not favorably received by the City Council.

Next the OTHS wanted the city to purchase the US Post Office site for access and parking, so the OTHS could construct a six-lane competition pool and diving well on their rear parking lot. Of course, OTHS wanted the city to also pay for the construction and operation of this new "water".

OTHS does not have the funds to construct and/or operate a six-lane competition pool and diving well.

Who is the "we" in your statement that "we could have just added one to OTHS". To date, no one has presented the city with a check in the amount of $10-12 million to cover the construction costs (to say nothing about the ongoing operation costs) of a six lane competition pool and diving well.

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retiredinss 7 years, 6 months ago

ffv-

Yes, the architects have had a good track record, and that is positive. However, I think you are mixing apples and oranges. The point I am raising is a very simple one if you are familiar with construction and cost estimating. That is, there has been no site work done. There has been no engineering . You, I, the architects, etc. do not know what is underground at the site, could be stone, could be water, could be lots of things, we don't know. There have been no environmental studies done, so we do not know if any allowances need to be made for potential environmental impact. There has been no design work done, so the actual structural layout, finish, etc. have not been decided. Moreover, no long lead time items have been actually priced. What has been done is fairly simple, as I said earlier: take already built structures elsewhere, allow for time and location inflation. No hard bids have been made for the recreation center. It's not bad, and it's not wrong, it's just not as accurate as it needs to be for anyone to make a budget. I know that a business would not allocate $34 million on the basis of what has been done. What they would do---and what we should do in SS--is budget a couple of mill for detailed architecture and engineering, including soil studies, environmental impact, etc. and when that work is finished have that priced, then decide can we afford whatever that number is. What is being proposed is that we irrevocably commit before we really 'know' what it's going to cost. Most folks would not build a house by going to a contractor with a line drawing and a sq foot estimate, and tell the contractor to go!

On your solution for a potential overrun, the problem is, again, after the fact, someone (and here I am not sure that it would be the voters, as you can see in the case of the community center overrun) would have to decide to (a) change the design to eliminate some facilities, and (b) move funds from another project to this one. This is a very poor way to do business. You wouldn't want to find out your house was going to cost way more than expected, and then have someone else tell you what they were going to eliminate to bring it in on budget, and oh, by the way, you have to give up the car you were going to buy because we need that money for the house!

On the operating deficit, I know the $500,000 is supposed to be the difference between the total operating costs and the cost recovery from members etc. As I said, I suggest the number needs to be looked into at other actual operating facilities, for two reasons: (1) We really don't know what the operating cost will be; and (b) the survey a year ago showed a distinct drop in interest in the recreation center when the respondents were asked if they would be willing to pay a membership fee! Not a surprise actually, most folks want things 'they' don't have to pay for. If they have to pay, then that is a horse of a different color!

G'day.

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titsikama 7 years, 6 months ago

Retirdeness, Actually the development of the price tag was more in depth then what you may have thought. They have had planning, public works, fire and all similar intenties involved in the layout and design process. The architects have built over 16 recreation centers in the last 5 years (11 in Colorado). Of those 16, 3 projects were over the estimate by 6.7%, 3.2% and 3.7% , 9 were under estimate ranging from 0.6% to 21.4% and 3 were at the estimate provided by the architect. Clearly the architects have a very accurate way of estimating. Once they established a price with the contingency (typical on all construction projects), after consulting 3 builders of such facilities, they added a Steamboat factor for the typical increase in cost today and inflation and then added the 30% to that number for the potential increase in building costs in Steamboat. I am curious what prior experience you have for for such a facility? I am a developer too and never, ever have we ever been 50% over the orignial conceptional estimate. Not even close. Try 3-7% and then only becuase we chose to change our orignal level of finish to a higher finish. If 50% more then a conceptional estimate was the norm-no one would ever build anything. The bond is only written for 34 million it cannot be increased, so going up to 51 million is not possible. If the numbers come in at budget the bond will be less. If you have any questions about how the architects obtained these numbers please fee free to contact them at brsarch.com.

The projections for operating loss were determined under the direction of of GreenPlay LLC with Parks and Recreation Staff and potential user groups. GreenPlay LLC has been consulting on these types of projects since 1999. From their website: "GreenPlay works nationwide with full-time employees who are experienced parks, recreation, and open space professionals who know what it takes to provide the services and fund, build, and operate the types of facilities and services you manage now and may manage in the future." A new facility in Gypsum has out performed its projections and getting more use then planned. If you have questions about the numbers I encourage you to contact them directly at greenplayllc.com.

Why the city? Well, the county wasn't interested, but mainly because many of the programs operated by the city (Volleyball, basketball, Teen Programs , Youth Programs, Indoor soccer etc...) will be run in the new center. The primary users and users groups will be from the City and those outside of the City will pay more to use the facility.

Too be continued...

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titsikama 7 years, 6 months ago

Why should the city build and maintain this facility...?I have heard a lot lately about private investors putting up the money for everything. Why should "private" people support everything in our community (they already do a lot). If we value our community we should be willing to share some of the burden to make it a healthy and better one. Should the book store give us free books (reading is important) the grocery free food (eating is important) the snow plow guy a free snow plow (being able to get out of your garage is important)? This is not a for profit business. This is about an investment in our community. We don't have a YMCA or a Boys Club in Steamboat. We do have a 30 year old ex locker room serving youth programs. We have teens that have been told for years that they will get a place to hang out. We have a run down skateborad looking for a home. We have overcrowded gymnasiums and no indoor public play spaces. We do have many great city run and private programs that have simply run out of space in which to conduct their programs and no space for people with limited mobility.

Finally, the total City expenditures for 2007 (2008 was not yet available) was $45,296.83. Of that 5,052,000 went to Parks Rec and Open Space. 6,088,737,000 went to Public Safety. 2,967,000 went to Transportation Services. 5,493,000.00 went to Wastewater/Water management. 2,736,000 went to Public Works. 2B and 2C will not have an effect on these budget numbers as they are a seperate bond and mill levy. You are correct that the facility will need to be paid for for the next 20 years. The first rec center proposal was in 1999 at the cost of 7 million. This issue will continue to be revisited and will most likely continue to be more expensive in the future.

The world is not perfect. We can't have everything just so. We pay interest on our homes and cars. We can't get people to give us free stuff unless we sign up for their promotion. I don't expect this to be an easy decision for everyone. There is a lot to consider. In the end it is about supporting your community; for way less then that latte everyday or the lift pass, or the great new outfit.

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titsikama 7 years, 6 months ago

Felt compelled to add to elkview, to clarify my comment. I get tired of people of saying this is about the pool. I did not work for 2 years just for a pool. OTHS went to planning commision once and got turned down. Some people have been to planning 3 or 4 times and been turned down. If it was just about a pool that option could have been explored in more depth both in terms of financing and design (thats what I meant by we).

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jeannie berger 7 years, 6 months ago

All of the points, good or bad, don't matter if you are not going to use it. I can say that I won't use it. I raised 4 kids here without the facilities so eloquently described in the above posts. If it was to cold or rainy or windy to go out into the yard and play they built forts in the house, played with legos. watched videos, made play- doh and played with it. It is unfortunate that so many families think that fun isn't any fun unless it costs something. I hope it doesn't get voted in. One more thing to pay for that I won't use. I say vote no, twice.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 years, 6 months ago

Some of these comments are taking on a distinct odor of our current administration, meaning if you aren't in support of this project then you just aren't patriotic/community minded. That's a load of crap. Why did the city turn down Whitney Ward's offer of $12 million to go toward a recreation center, yes of course private enterprise does not make these kind of offers without getting something in return, there is always a price to pay. And in this case the price is far too much of a burden to city tax payers. A latte a day? Give me a break! Believe!!!

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inmate2007 7 years, 6 months ago

DreamRiver, how many members of this community can make PlayDoh? If I remember correctly it's corn starch, water, and food coloring but I suspect most need to shop Walmart to get the commercial version.

That is why they want/need the prepackaged Rec. center. No thought, no effort, just cash and mostly someone else's.

Personally I don't expect or require the community to take care of us but I also prefer to entertain myself and family.

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

Ten years ago we could have built it for 5 million. If we wait another ten years it will cost 100 million. It will happen. It's just when and how much.

The Hot Springs is a great facility. I enjoy going there. It has one big problem. It is way too small. Like many others, I go there only in mud season due to overcrowding. Have you ever tried to sit in the heart spring pool with 40 other people? It's shoulder to shoulder, if you can get in. There is easily enough business out there for both rec centers. Demand is huge.

Also, the notion that we live in an outdoor rec center really doesn't work when three days each week our outdoor rec center is a blizzard.

Vote yes.

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retiredinss 7 years, 6 months ago

titisikma-

You covered quite a few issues relevant to the proposed center in a good deal of detail. I would like to go through a few:

First, you responsed that the Parks, Recreation and Open Space budget was about $5 million of a total of about $45 million, then went on to detail several other areas, which when these and the Parks, Rec and Open Space number are totalled give approximately $23 million. What are the remaining dollars-$22 million roughly--spent on? My question before, and now, isn't about the specific city department Parks, Recreation and Open Space, but rather how much the city is already spending for 'recreational type activities' as opposed to the very traditional services we have come to expect from a city government. Can you provide more information on the missing $22 million?

Second, you gave more detail than did I on the methodology followed by the architects, but, I think basically you said the same thing I did. They took figures from existing recreation centers, and inflated them for the time from when they were built until 2009--using assumptions for inflation rates for 2007, 2008 and 2009. The also inflated those figures for a location differential for doing the work in Steamboat rather than where the existing recreation centers were built. This is a good technique, and I have no argument with the architects competence of with their results, just what they mean and how they are used. This is a conceptual-ball park-estimate and should be used for that purpose, not for budgeting purposes. We have the recent example of the community center to remind us of just how much an estimate can be off. In the case of the community center, the facilities had to be reduced and then the city had to pony up additional funds to cover the difference between the bid and the latest estimate before the bid. We are still using the same method, so we should be leery of expecting a better result. I have suggested an alternate method to avoid a potential surprise down the road. One way a surprise can be avoided now would be to obtain a Guaranteed Maximum Price bid now, based on the information available now. Even if one allowed the average overrun you mentioned-say halfway between the 3 and 7 % on top of the $34 milliion, do you know any contractor who would be willing to submit a bid now for $35.7 milliion, with no allowances for change orders?

Again, thanks. I hope that you have gathered that my comments are not specifically aimed at the recreation center but at the methods the city uses to budget for significant investment projects.

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elkeye 7 years, 6 months ago

BoulderGrad...please!

What makes you think that the recreation center project could very well go back to the Curci-Turner site?

In regards to your comment "that cost will significantly go down as the West end subdivisions are annexed into the City", what West end subdivisions do you think would vote to be annexed into the City?

Why would the residents of SBS II, Heritage Park, & Silver Spur vote to be annexed into the city? I'm sure they would like to pay the extra city sales tax on purchases, especially when they purchase a new vehicle!

Why would the residents of Steamboat Springs vote to allow the annexation of "Steamboat 700"?

I (elkeye) would be amazed if the residents of the City of Steamboat Springs do not review any approval of the annexation of "Steamboat 700" through the referendum process.

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retiredinss 7 years, 6 months ago

BoulderGrad-

Not sure I follow your arguments from the point that the architects did a good job on cost estimation to moving the proposed site back to Curci-Turner. Please explain for me.

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addlip2U 7 years, 6 months ago

titsikama

did you read what you said? "The architects have built over 16 recreation centers in the last 5 years (11 in Colorado). Of those 16, 3 projects were over the estimate by 6.7%, 3.2% and 3.7% , 9 were under estimate ranging from 0.6% to 21.4% and 3 were at the estimate provided by the architect. Clearly the architects have a very accurate way of estimating."

NINE were ranging from 0.6% to 21.4%. How much more closer to the actual cost can you get to with the above record? There is no firm dollar figure until you have completed design, obtained firm bid (i.e. "guaranteed max") and no change in scope. You have neither!

This Dream project does not deserve all the attention it is receiving. Use the money spent on mailings and adds and built YOUR OWN PRIVATE Rec Center. Support it with your own resources. NOT mine.

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another_local 7 years, 6 months ago

66 million comes to about $5,000 per person in Steamboat Springs.

For all that money you get what? Oh yeah, you still have to pay to use it. Ridiculous.

This is an outrageous amount of money for something we do not need serving the interests of a vocal minority that will be paid for by an unfair tax.

We LIVE in a recreation center. Vote NO!

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titsikama 7 years, 6 months ago

addlip4u and retiredness, I am not sure what you meant with your question above, but in case I was not clear-Nine recreation centers were under the estimate, 3 over the estimate and 3 were at the estimate provided by the architect. The community Center had a few different considerations. First the architects never met with planning, public works and other intenties in advance of the estimate. They went ahead and did all of their architectual drawings and then set forth for approval from planning. What they realized is that the plan they presented did not meet code and design requirements and had other safety and access issues. The architects also had no increase for building in Steamboat or provided any cushion. When the building was re-designed additional elements (green) were added. Again the architects of the Rec Center have met with all the above entities and the building meets codes in terms of design and size, placement, access etc. They obtained preliminary numbers from 3 builders of such facilites. They then added additional costs for Steamboat and then more again. The costs already include a "high efficiency" building.

I did not include all the citys budgetary numbers on the website, just the ones suggested. Those numbers would inlcude City Services (Planning, Cuncil City Manager etc..). I would suggest if anyone in interested in looking at the further they visit the City website. The Parks Recreation and Opens Space includes such things as Howelson, Yampa Core Trail, Open Space and other items one would normally think of with Recreation. From what I could find the only other number that one could consider for Parks and Recreation would be the Golf Course. That is a seperate line item voted on by the people of Steamboat Springs some time back. pt22-You are absolutely right. I send my federal and state dollars away, and so very often cringe at what it is going to. I wish I could check the box and send my dollars to what I think is important to me, my community, my state and my country. At least with 2B and 2C I know exactly where my dollars are going. I am posting on this blog in an attempt to address concerns and questions and allow you to make an informed vote based on fact not on scary ideas such as we will become another Vail and Aspen as a result or that property rights are infringed upon. I believe it is investment in our communtiy. Some people see otherwise and will vote no. Just like some believe the war in Iraq is justified and some don't. As long as you are making an informed decision that is the best I can do. I do take offense that people would insuate that a Rec Center is for people who don't care to spend time with their children or are not creative enough to come with other solutions. You know nothing about me or my family. Thank You.

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colobob 7 years, 6 months ago

The rec. center, the bypass, the Iron Horse, ect., better take out that second mortgage now folks before the interest rates go up. Might be a good time to buy a U-Haul franchise or U-Haul stock. Its a shame that so many will end up having to leave a place they love. Take a stand to save the Boat. Go to council meetings and be heard and don't forget to go to the poles. Anything worth having is worth fighting for! Fight to keep Steamboat a place that we ALL can enjoy!

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drmom 7 years, 6 months ago

pt22, The rec center committee did not pay for or suggest the ad for skin cancer. I did. I have been practicing dermatology in Steamboat since 1998. There is an epidemic of skin cancer in the united states, but especially here. The children and adults have an EXTREAME amount of sundamage. I have treated many twenty year olds from Steamboat with Melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. I have been concerned about the over exposure for years. There is no way to protect our skin from our high altitude sun in an outdoor pool. Sunscreens don't work very well in the water. It is not just the kids, its everybody who swims there. We need a choice for indoor recreation. I know its expensive but so is skin cancer. In 2006, I estimated skin cancer cost its citizens and insurance carriers 875,000.00 in fees and hospital costs. This is from all three physicians who routinely treat skin cancer at our hospital. This does not count anyone who had it treated elsewhere. If the incidence continues to go up at the national rate, it will be millions a year soon. We can pay now or pay later. Sincerely, Sandi Eivins,MD Board Certified Dermatologist

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 years, 6 months ago

Agreed, but her logic has been in question for some time. Something to be said for consistency though. Believe!

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fishy 7 years, 6 months ago

pt22 and rok - you guys are just nasty. i think Dr. Eivins comments are incredibly relevant and that is one of my biggest concerns when taking my kids to the pool in the summer - it's hard to avoid the killer sun here, especially with all the fair-skinned kids around.

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

Pt22 and rokboat. Clearly, you have not spent much time in the pool with your kids in the hot blazing sun down at health and rec. Sandra's reasoning comes from her professional experience but is only one of many reasons to vote for the rec center.

Have either of you ever been to a real rec center?

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fishy 7 years, 6 months ago

unfortunately, pt22, no one can afford to build an indoor pool by themselves. it's something a community has to do together. maybe lots of people agree with you and will vote it down. we'll see.

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

Pt, You should look around, there are a lot of people like me in this town that have kids. I would have voted for it before I had kids. I don't like everything about it or the way we are funding it but I will still vote for it because it will be a great asset our community.

I understand your frustration with all of the out of control spending around here, but this one of the few projects that we have been allowed to vote on that will benefit nearly everyone in town. (except the bar owners)

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

A special interest group called people with kids. Another called people who like to play basketball and volleyball. Another called people who like to swim. Another group called people who like to workout. Another group called people who like to walk. Another group who just need to sit in the hot tub. (like me) Another called visitors to Steamboat who like all of that stuff.

Does that seem like a lot of people? Like most of the town.

Give me a break about the money. It's $33.00 per $100,000 in value. A $500,000 house will pay $165 per year. That is like what? A couple bags of groceries?

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fishy 7 years, 6 months ago

the math looks correct to me pt. you sound like you'd like it better if you didn't have to pay any taxes - public schools, police, road work, etc. - that's all someone else's problem that they should pay for privately, right? your utopian town with no taxes doesn't exist. and like it or not, a rec center will eventually pass, if not now then soon. with the way steamboat is going, you guys are going to have to face the inevitable.

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bubba 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm in the rare position of agreeing with pt22- the people who will struggle most with the tax increase will not be able to pay the membership fee, and thus won't use it. If it's funded by taxpayers money, charging for memberships should not be allowed, otherwise, it is a taxpayer subsidy for a private club.

My taxpayer dollars go to public schools, which I am OK with, even if it doesn't benefit me, but why don't we start charging money to attend those too? Because they're public.

If this thing was financially feasible, even with the high prices of memberships, private enterprise would have met that need, but they haven't, because it's not.

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

I've never heard so much whining about $165 per year. If you can afford a half million-dollar house you can afford $165. If you live in a $50,000 trailer you can afford $16.50. This is not going to break anyone's bank.

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bubba 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm whining more about the 600 dollars per year to use it than the increase in property tax.

What is the point of having it be a public, publicly funded place if it costs more to use than for-profit ones in other towns? If there was really so much demand for this thing, it wouldn't need to cost so much. the fact that taxpayers have to pay to build it and then pay to use it is the problem. This thing is just not financially feasible. I understand that it's not going to break anyone's bank, but it is still charging the many for something only a few will use.

Don't need it, won't use it, don't want to pay for it (twice)

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WZ4EVER 7 years, 6 months ago

I find it completely appropriate to this whole issue that the proponents are using Todd Lodwick and his family as "icons". None of them live in the City and won't be saddled with paying for this unless they CHOOSE TO. The rest of us won't have that choice.

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techno_babble 7 years, 6 months ago

The numbers you quote are not quite correct.

Even if it is only $33 per $100k for 2C, how much is 2B going to add? That's the one where we get to subsidize the running of the center. According the people in favor, 2B will cost me another $165 for the $500k house (from the Election Information sent by the County Clerk).

So, now we are actually up to $330 a year.

And while I may be "whining about $165 per year" I can see a lot more. For example, I am also a business owner - so I will actually pay quite a bit more.

And I haven't even set foot in the door yet.

And with each little increase, the cost of living rechets up a notch in the Yampa valley. So, Books and friends, are you also supporting "affordable housing"? How much will that cost me?

Oh yeah, it is absolutely a regressive tax as pt22 points out.

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

bubba

Your argument holds no water. Since when is anything free?

Get out your calculator and actually figure out exactly what it is really going to cost. It's less than you think.

A family membership is $50 bucks a month.

A single adult is $27.50 a month.

The average resident (500k house) will pay RE tax of $13.75 per month.

Add it up. You can take your whole family to the rec center for a month for less than the cost of one lift ticket.

Even if techno's fears are true it's still less than one lift ticket.

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bubba 7 years, 6 months ago

but a lot of us won't pay the 600 bucks a year, so why should we have to pay any. By your logic, my ski pass is only 2.74 per day, which isn't that much.

All I'm saying is if you want a semi-private club, find a private enterprise to fund it, not taxpayers.

I didn't say that anything is free, but since you mentioned it, all of the recreational amenities I enjoy here are free, except for riding a chairlift, and I'm not asking you to pay for that.

Sure the roads my tax dollars pay for aren't free, my tax dollars pay for them, but they are free to use. E-470 is a private enterprise, they charge money to use the road to pay back the initial investment that built the road.

The point is, you keep saying 'everyone can afford this tax increase,' but who cares- it's a tax increase to ME for something YOU will use, and I don't think my money should be spent on people I don't know's recreational pursuits. Of course 100 bucks a year or whatever the tax is won't break me, but why should I have to pay for someone else to enjoy it?

You guys keep talking about the 'valid' surveys that show this is so important to everyone. I say the only valid survey is the one in November.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 6 months ago

Sbvor Pt. 2- Yes, I believe it can be done. In fact, it's done all the time. Companies merge and downsize redundancies all the time. Don't see why it can't work in this instance.

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elkeye 7 years, 6 months ago

I look forward to the only survey that matters. The vote count on Nov. 6th!

A small group of supporters wanted the "whole hog" at taxpayers expense, including that $10-12 million white elephant (namely a six-lane competition pool and diving well).

As the old saying goes "...pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered".

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colobob 7 years, 6 months ago

Dear Books, "That is like what what? A couple of bags of groceries?" Do you hear yourself when you say that? To some a couple of bags of groceries is a very big deal, it's called sustenance! Have you ever really paid attention to what some people go through a check-out line with? To the 20 something kid that buys a case of bottled water a box of cereal (no milk) and a dozen packages of Mac & Cheese, a couple of bags of groceries is what the person in front of them is buying. To the elderly person on a very meager and fixed income with 2 cans of cat food (and you have to wonder who's eating the cat food) , 1 bananna, maybe an apple, and a pint of orange juice, a couple of bags of groceries is a Godsend. My wife works as a checkout clerk and I hear the stories everyday - it's gutwrenching! To these people and many others like them almost all of their money is spent on keeping a roof over their heads. What about the winter months when they need to heat their homes? You say $165 dollars like it's nothing. I suggest to you that to some it's darn near everthing. Take this little test. From now on when you go to the grocery store pay attention to the items that some go through the check-out line with. It will make you think or at least it should. Many of these same folks are too proud (God Bless Them) to accept a handout or surplus food (especially the elderly) from govt. run distribution centers. They have worked their whole lives paying their own way, being responsible members of the community living on what they have not what they want. Yes, a simple trip to the grocery store can be a real eye opener. Whats $165? To some much more than many could possibily comprehend. To ask these POOR souls to help pay for a luxury that they will never reap any benifit from is a disgrace. This is just one more of many reasons why a rec. center should be a PRIVATE venture. No on 2B & 2C.

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colobob 7 years, 6 months ago

Hi Mat, well unfortunately we are at odds again over an issue but hey that's life. Being able to voice our opinions whether in agreement or disagreement is part of what makes this such a great country. For me No is still the logical choice but the vote will decide the outcome. Be it to your liking or mine we will just have to wait and see. I look forward to the day when we are on the same side of an issue once again. Have a good day.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, Colobob. It's stories like the recent Joy Rasmussen one that makes me think this rec center's time is due. Steamboat is not just a ski town any longer and people need different ways to train instead of using Rocky IV as a training example. That means a need for facilities to accomodate all interests. It's not just about an indoor swimming pool: it's about a larger package than the Old Town facility can offer and in a location that can be tied into the Tennis Center. Maybe...just maybe...running the 2 facilities together might lessen the overall monetary impact than running the Tennis Center separately.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 6 months ago

"I've never heard so much whining about $165 per year".... Politicians LOVE people like "Books", the ones that don't add up all the tax hikes, they only see one at a time and it's always a necessity or "for the children" and only a small hike, so they vote yes. This it what the tax and spend politicians count on, the voters being too dumb to know they're being screwed. Haven't you ever heard of the straw that broke the camels back? When will it ever be enough? It's time to quit asking taxpayers to foot the bill for "ooh, wouldn't that be nice" items that they may or may not get any use out of. It's time to force the tax and spend politicians to work with the income they now have, let someone else build the "wants" and make the government stick to the necessities.

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

You guys crack me up with your spin.

It's $13.75 per month for the guy with the half million-dollar house.

If you have a 50K trailer, its $1.76 per month.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 6 months ago

I wasn't saying it would be 2 for 1. I said it would lessen the overall cost and again: it's done day in/day out. It's a proven way of business.

As for sbvor...too tired to spell out the whole "duck" analogy.

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Books 7 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, I had that wrong.

If you have a 50K trailer, its $1.38 per month.

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colobob 7 years, 6 months ago

It can be divided, sliced and diced any way you choose but any way you cut it it's still a frivolous expense. As far as spin goes..............................,well I'll let someone else answer that one. 50K? What percentage of the population does that represent and what difference would it make anyway? $1.38 a month for something that those people may not be able to afford to use is no different than those with home values of 200K or 700K if those people can't afford to use it either. People didn't ask for their property values to be inflated to these absurd highs and to ask them to pay for this ridiculous venture just isn't right. If there are those that really want this new rec. center that's fine but let those that can afford or want to use it pay for it.

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twostroketerror 7 years, 6 months ago

It should be run w/ the tennis center since the cost overrun fiasco will be the same or worse. Likely much worse.

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bubba 7 years, 6 months ago

Books, your calculation is only the tax for people who aren't using it, who I would argue shouldn't have to pay for it, anymore than you should buy me a ski pass. The fact that this requires taxes to build and membership fees to operate shows that there is not enough demand to make it a worthwhile project, and it will just be a financial drain on the people struggling to live here.

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colobob 7 years, 6 months ago

Good point on the ski pass Bubba, one I obviously overlooked. Is that spin?

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elkeye 7 years, 6 months ago

The projected capital costs are obscene (including $10-12 million for a six-lane competition pool and diving well), however why is there a projected operating deficit?

The users should be required to pay a membership fee/daily use fee sufficent to insure that there is a zero operating deficit. Of course, this would probably require that the projected membership fees/daily use fees be doubled, tripled or more!

How far do you think this thing would get if it was required to operate without an annual taxpayer subsidy?

I am sure that the general membership/daily users would enjoy paying high user fees so that the swim team members can have a six-lane competition pool and diving well. NOT!

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bubba 7 years, 6 months ago

There is an operating deficit because there is not enough demand for this thing- there are companies that develop and operate things like this throughout the country, for a profit, without taxpayers dollars paying the capital expenses. If there were sufficient demand, there might be private parties 'investing,' not the public being burdened.

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