Debbie Wilson: Think ahead on rec

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As a community member, parent and active participant in many local recreational activities, we are asking you to vote for the proposed recreation center located at the Ski Town site near the tennis bubble. Here are the reasons why this is important today:

1. Our community has been studying the idea of a community-funded recreation center since 1999.

2. Since 1999, our community has spent $62,018.73 on studies and consultants. An estimated $184,000 could be spent on the current architects. Nearly $250,000 has been spent.

3. All of the studies and consultants have concluded that our community needs more recreation facilities.

4. All of the studies and consultants have concluded that the most efficient and cost-effective approach is one centralized facility.

5. Today our community is about to undergo unprecedented growth, both west of town and at the base area. Everyone knows the SSHRA (Old Town Hot Springs) facilities are maxed out. How will they handle the 2,000 new homes proposed west of town and the unknown number of new residences at the base area?

6. Today it is proposed that the mill levy will cost $13.75 per year per $100,000 in property value. This is based on today's taxable property values. With the expected growth, it is very possible that in future years, the cost per $100,000 of property value will go down. The way the ballot language is written, our city is only allowed to raise the stated amount of dollars. If that number is divided by 1,000 more homes, the amount we see today will be less.

7. Why the Ski Town site? This is very important. Not only is it the most cost-effective location and the easiest to access for traffic purposes, it is near the mountain. As a community, it is our fiscal responsibility to future generations to make decisions that will have the smallest financial impact. By placing the facility near the mountain, we have a much greater probability of attracting tourist dollars to offset our operating expenses. As a community we need to make intelligent compromises. This is one of those situations.

8. The estimated cost of $34 million includes a very large cushion. Vote for the recreation center today before the cost increases. At some point, a recreation center will pass a vote, and the longer we wait, the more it will cost.

Steamboat is a growing community and we need to think ahead and not react to problems. If we wait, with our anticipated growth, this will not be a choice in the future, and the costs to our community will be significantly greater.

Vote Yes on 2B and 2C for a facility that will meet our community's needs today and tomorrow.

Debbie Wilson

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Chris Elliott 7 years, 2 months ago

Reasons 1, 2 and 3 offer no reason to vote for the proposed rec. center. So what if our community has been studying it for 8 years. For 8 years, the surveys have shown that the community does not want it! If we have already spent 500k on architects, studies and consultants, lets stop before we waste any more of the tax payers dollars. Sunk costs should not be a reason to go ahead with something that does not make economic sense! As for "all of the surveys" showing that we need more recreational facilities, I beg to differ. Are these available to view? Weren't all consultants paid to look for recreational needs? Did we ever fund a study looking to see that our rec. needs are currently being met? Research can be manipultated to show whatever you want. I for one am glad this is fianally going to the voters. Once and for all let the "wreck" center issue end.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 years, 2 months ago

How about spending a bit more on figuring out how this can be paid for without putting an additional tax burden on residential and commercial property owners. I think there would be much less resistance to this proposal if even 30-50% of the costs were being paid for privately.

Also, if there are to be 2,000 additional homes in West Steamboat what will this site location do to already congested traffic problems? Might it be better located on the west end of town? Vote NO and NO on this pipe dream of a few that will negatively impact many. Believe!

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skidattle 7 years, 2 months ago

Maybe some peoples "needs" are really just "wants". I want AFFORDABLE LIVING. I don't need a consultant to tell me the cost of living in this town is getting out of control. How about the tax increase on commercial real estate. I want affordable health insurance, groceries, gasoline, auto insurance, REAL ESTATE TAXES, etc. etc.

I don't "need" a $34 million swimming pool.

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ColoradoNative 7 years, 2 months ago

I can't even keep up with the amount of FREE recreational choices as it is.

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secretshopper 7 years, 2 months ago

The actual cost for this center is closer to $60 million and the numbers they are using are very misleading. They also don't tell you about the cost for an annual family membership. That would be $600 for families inside Steamboat's city limits, and $900 for families outside, that's on top of your taxes. Has anyboby thought how we're going to staff this center? According to the propaganda, the facility will be open "extended hours, and holidays". Employers are seeing quite a crunch right now, and with working families being driven out of Steamboat because of the high cost of living it's going to get much worse. Adding massive taxes and fees to provide a rec center contridicts what supporters say. They are actually helping to drive these working families out, who they say are reason they "need" to build this facility. They want to build a facility the size of the Apex Center which serves a 100,000 population base! We have 12,000 people here, yes we'll grow, but not to the size that would make this proposed center feisable by any means.

Don't let the misleading words influence your decision. They place urgency on their rec center because they've spent a quarter of a million on consultants. I do agree that we will have a rec center someday, but to vote for this gigantic, costly, structure is not feisable for a town of 12,000 people. There is nothing wrong with voting (No on 2a and 2b) this back to the drawing board, so we can have a rec center that is more appropriate for the size of our town. The attitude that we need the biggest and best right now is not only fiscally irresponciable, but a burdon to those it is supposed to be built for.

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id04sp 7 years, 2 months ago

Snowboarding has basically ruined the mountain for those of us who enjoy skiing.

Taxes are going up to fund crap like this.

I think it's time to just move away and do other enjoyable things in places where newcomers don't expect everybody else to pay for their hobbies.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

The weather today is another good reason to have a rec center. Sure we live in a great place with lots of outdoor activities. But let's face it we have a lot of days with lousy weather. Also when winter comes the sun goes down at 5:00, by 6:00 it's pitch black. How many outdoor activities can you do in the dark between 5:00 and 10:00?

It's the people who own the bars that are probably complaining the most. The rec center will put a dent in the happy hour business. All of the hot women will be at the rec center instead of happy hour.

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secretshopper 7 years, 2 months ago

Dear Books,

I posted a comment above, and I'm a dad with a three year old. I'm not a bar owner, and I'm against the proposed rec center as written now. Voting No will just send them back to look at what we really "need". I'm sure, someday, there will be a smaller, cost efficient, and great facility for this community. Right now, this structure is being built for the wealthy and their guests, and the middle class is disappearing.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 years, 2 months ago

Now that's a real convincing argument "books"! God forbid we might actually pick up a book and read on a rainy day or maybe even put on a rain coat and take a walk outside and appreciate nature. I don't own a bar or even frequent them very often and if I want a hot woman I look to my wife. Believe!

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birddog 7 years, 2 months ago

Debbie's letter says, "Today it is proposed that the mill levy will cost $13.75 per year per $100,000 in property value."

The Recreation center TALKING POINTS letter says $2.75 per month per $100,000. That comes out to $33.00 per year.

It's either $13.75 or $33.00. I hope Debbie is right.

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fishy 7 years, 2 months ago

rokboat and secretshopper: lighten up dudes! the books bar comment was pretty funny i thought and gee, probably not that serious. and having a three year old brings us to one of the main points here: teaching young kids to swim. it's a gruesome battle fighting the crowds in the summer to try to get in the ot hot springs and get your kids in the water. i know, i've been doing it for quite a few summers. how much easier it would be if we had indoor swimming year-round! learning to swim is kind of important and i'd be happy if it was easier to achieve.

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ColoradoNative 7 years, 2 months ago

What about the people who don't have kids and don't like to swim? Why tax them for YOUR kids fishy?

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boater25 7 years, 2 months ago

Great letter Debbie...I for one am voting YES on 2B and 2C...it's about time we pay attention to the VALID surveys and research and provide a facility that will allow for great programming and family fun. This isn't for "hobbies" or a select few...rather, it is designed to provide something for everyone in an effort to provide a healthy outlet and only increase our quality of life. It should be obvious to all the naysayers that this type of recreational facility is inevitable for a community like ours...is every other mountain town/ski resort across the country who has a rec center complaining about lack of participation at their wonderful facilities? No...because locals and tourists alike - of all ages and abilities - use these rec centers, many of which are already looking to expand to meet demand. Sure the price tag is expensive...but it will only increase dramatically the longer we wait! VOTE YES!!

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secretshopper 7 years, 2 months ago

Say fishy,

If you'd pay for the rec center, I'm in. Otherwise, it's a pretty serious issue, spending $66 million (read your ballot information guide-"in favor and opposing") for an indoor pool. I've been here ten years and my community is running working families out. My child is learning to swim (thanks for the concern) and so far I haven't spent nearly 66 million to have her learn.

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skidattle 7 years, 2 months ago

Boater25, excellent idea, you could just move to one of those other resort towns that already has a rec center to your liking.

Books, I don't own a bar, nor do I spend much time in them. I'd put my fitness level against yours any day-without a pool, rain or shine, pair of shoes is all it takes. no special hobbies.

SKI TOWN USA, not swim town usa.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

So how do all of you fit bloggers, who hate rec centers, get in your workout? The rest of us don't get off work until 5:00. It's dark half of the year in your outdoor rec center. Anyone who has a real job can't enjoy your level of fitness. That's why we need a rec center.

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skidattle 7 years, 2 months ago

I promise you I put in more work hours than you do in a week, have a child, and run my own business. Sorry if you can't figure out how to get it done. I'm not going to pay for some outrageous rec center to help you. If you're serious about staying fit you'll find time. How do all the top athletes in this town get it done?

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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

Is the annual membership for a family really going to be 600 dollars? If so, isn't that really limiting the use of it to people who can afford that? Sure, as you pointed out in another post that the property tax increase would only average 165 a year or so, but to a lot of people without a lot of disposable income, that 165 is going to come out of the limited recreation budget, not the groceries or mortgage or other necessary ones. So the people that this is burdening most are those who will never be able to afford the 600 dollar membership. Aren't we supposed to steal from the rich and give to the poor, not the other way around?

How about this for an alternate proposal, for when this gets voted down (and I truly expect it will get voted down). Find a private developer/operator of rec centers, and tell them the city will give them a 50 year ground lease on the dirt for this facility for free, and they can charge their normal rates after they build it. If they do it, then maybe there is demand for a rec center, and nobody who doesn't use it has to pay for it. My guess is a membership at a private place would be less than the membership at this 'public' one. AND the city will generate tax revenue FROM the rec center, rather than increasing my taxes so that kids who's parents can afford a membership don't have to suffer the trauma of being outside in the mountains of colorado.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

bubba

You are describing people who can afford a half million-dollar house but can't afford $165 per year because they are too poor.

As for robbing the rich, that's exactly what this is. The real estate owned by wealthy out of town second homeowners make up a large portion of the overall valuations. They don't even get to vote.

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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

You didn't answer my question, and you missed the point.

Is there really going to be a 600 dollar membership charge?

People who live in a half million dollar house in steamboat (or houses less than that), in many cases, are spending the majority of their income to do so, and the rest on feeding their family or trying to get ahead, and if they have enough time or money left over, they can get out and ski or do whatever brought them to this valley. Just because someone lives in a house worth 3, 4, 500k does not mean that they have extra cash to waste on building a rec center that they can't afford a membership to.

If enough people in this town were willing/able to pay 600 dollars for a membership to this thing, private enterprise would have filled this niche, but it hasn't.

Building it with taxpayer dollars, and then charging membership fees several times higher than what private clubs in other cities charge is taxing the many to build a semi-private facility for those who are willing/able to pay it.

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skidattle 7 years, 2 months ago

Hey Look, It's 5:00, the suns out, probably be a good time to get in a little exersice.

FREE

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Doug Marsh 7 years, 2 months ago

I don't think anyone mentioned what happens to the existing soccer and baseball fields. I worked hard to get those fields started. Are the fields being replaced and how much does that cost? Or do we just eliminated those fields.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

Sorry bubba.

What is $600 per year? Well that breaks down to $50 per month. A family of four would be paying $0.42 per day per person.

Now you are telling me that someone with a half million-dollar house can't afford 42 cents per person per day.

Maybe someone will correct my math, but 42 cents a day sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Did you ever notice what the ski area charges?

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

skidattle

I guess I had that one coming. But three weeks from today daylight savings starts and it will be dark shortly after 5. I am for this rec center because I think 42 cents a day is worth it to have another option.

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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

I just find it silly that this 66million dollar rec center is going to require the people who paid for it to purchase a membership. And yes, I am saying straight out, that there are plenty of people in this town who live paycheck to paycheck in order to pay their mortgage, for whom an extra 100 or 150 dollars in property tax will be an inconvenience, who certainly do not have 600 bucks in their annual budget to buy a membership. You can divide it up all you want, but you obviously don't have to sit down with your wife every time you get paid and determine which bills you can afford to pay and which will have to wait, so you won't be able to understand that many of the working class that people in this town claim to care about are struggling each month, and yeah, maybe 100 bucks isn't going to cause them to lose their house, and sure, they could cut some other part of the budget to get a membership if they want, but the majority of the people who will use this are people who won't think twice about a 600 dollar bill to pay, while everyone, including those scraping all their funds together for an outrageous mortgage payment each month, will be paying to subsidize this limited use.

And, yes, I do know what the ski area charges, and I am willing to pay that to a private enterprise because that is why I live here. And that is exactly the point. I want to ski, so I pay for it. If I wanted to swim indoors in the winter, or work out on fancy machines, I would expect to pay for that too. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have a rec center, I think it might be nice for people who want to use it, I just don't think that those of us who don't need it and won't use it should have to pay for it.

Again, if there is so much demand for a club that costs 600 dollars a year to use, why haven't any private ventures come in? If we need it so badly, the city could pledge the land to a private enterprise, and form some sort of partnership to make it work.

And Chicago, that's a good point- if we are replacing those fields, then that cost needs to be factored into the cost of this project, otherwise the true costs aren't being shown. If those fields won't be replaced, then aren't we eliminating one group's recreational opportunities in favor of someone elses?

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skidattle 7 years, 2 months ago

Books Just back from getting some fresh air. Do you own any real estate? It might end up .42 to you, but not me. I've been working my ass off in this town for 25 years. Own a small commercial space trying to make an honest living. The proposed tax is way more than .42. Pro tax & spend people like yourself are slowly trying to tax me death with your special "needs".

When it starts to get dark at 5:00 and theres snow on the ground. give x-c skiing a try under the lights at howelson. better work out than swimming and you can easily get into equipment cheap[ski swap].

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armchairqb 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm with pt22 and it's not my fault I live in a 3/4 million dollar house. I think we should do another study to see is a study is needed. Why does everybody pick on the bar owners anyway? What's wrong with 16oz curls isn't that considered exercise? Besides if this town gets its way there won't be to many bars left. Dos is gone , Mothers is done and soon Tugboat and Pirate's will come down.!!!! Levelz, gone Sabres'gone Braun's gone the list is endless

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colobob 7 years, 2 months ago

It's nice to see the number of sensible people on these posts against this insane rec. center proposal. Bury this beast once and for all, go to the polls and really be heard. Spend the taxpayers money on things that ARE NEEDED, on things that will benefit ALL not just the few. How about spending $60 million on affordable housing or decreasing the tax burden by $60 million? Steamboat offers more recreational diversity than any other place that I know of. If one needs indoor excercise join the health club, buy a treadmill, or purchase an arobics tape or dvd. Heck, some could build their own gym in their 3000 sq. ft. basement. You won't have to leave the comfort of your own home, you won't have to complain about the traffic, and you won't force those that can't afford to use it to pay for it. VOTE NO AT THE POLLS not just here in this forum!

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id04sp 7 years, 2 months ago

Steamboat advertises 300 days of sunshine per year.

A rec center for 5-6 cloudy days per month?

Worst of all, why would I want to put the government in charge of what I do for fun?

My $600 will go for skiing if it goes anywhere.

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gravity 7 years, 2 months ago

My favorite part of thus debate is the ad in paper that makes you think if you don't vote yes your kids will get skin cancer, sounds really desparate. My main reason against this #7 located at the mountain for tourists. Great another real estate deal funded by us.

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katrinkakelly 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh, I was so hoping for grapes at the poolside!

BUT NOT ON MY TAX DOLLAR!

Where is our Bouldergrad and his "no taxes" needed rant?

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

With all of the hot air about this I still have not heard anyone give me a good reason to not vote for it. I've been to quite a few of these newer rec centers and I believe it's worth doing. You don't have to take my word for it, anyone who is on the fence on this issue should go visit one and see for yourself.

There are lots of them nearby. Leadville, Delta, Gypsum, Aspen, Jackson, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, Glenwood

The last thing anyone should do is take the word of a bunch of negative whiners, who vote no on everything no matter what it is.

Go see for yourself, then decide.

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colobob 7 years, 2 months ago

Some of us "whiners" like the fact that Steamboat is a SKI TOWN and an OUTDOOR COMMUNITY. I'm sure you've heard of Ski Town USA. Besides since there are so many wonderful rec. ctrs. nearby then there is no real need for another. It won't be much of an inconvenience for you to jump in your SUV and pay the admission price to get in, I mean since there are so many others nearby. This whiner says VOTE NO. Happen to notice that I didn't resort to name calling just because we have a different OPINION.

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elphaba 7 years, 2 months ago

How did those of us raise wonderful, successful children here in the Old days before everyone moved here from somewhere else to tell us what we were lacking? My kids, now grown adults, ski, swim, bike, rock climb, run, work out, etc. etc. etc. and I've never once heard them complain about growing up in Steamboat with "nothing to do"....Quite the contrary. They bemoan the changes to "their" town from people precisely like those who support this boondogle of a rec center - clueless and truly homeless.

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boater25 7 years, 2 months ago

Don't even know where to begin or who's negativism to respond to first...so I'll simply say VOTE YES for something that is sure to be more than a random building used by a select few. The years of valid studies and non-biased research have pointed out the very real fact that the school gyms and private clubs are ALREADY maxed out. Locals don't have the same access that kids already raised here might have had years ago. The number of programs offered (to kids in particular) that encourage exercise and health dwindle each year due to lack of space to provide such programs. Every year MANY kids don't get the opportunity to learn to play basketball, hop on a skateboard in a safe environment, swim indoors in the winter or be cared for in an afterschool club (while their parents work) because the facilities we currently have are FULL or not adequate.

This rec center proposal is not only for NOW but for the FUTURE...it is visionary and thoughtful...it will help maintain what everyone seems to fear we will lose as we continue to grow and change...a sense of place, a healthy community, affordable family fun (yes....at $600 a year if a family uses it only 100 days it will only cost $6.00 for whole family). Considering that 27 babies were born at YVMC in the first 13 days of October I don't think we are quite yet at risk of "driving out the families of Steamboat"...

I say pay now or pay later...the toddlers, youth, teens, adults, seniors and hard working families of our community deserve a REAL community recreation center now...

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id04sp 7 years, 2 months ago

If a family uses it "only 100 days?"

Only?

You're gonna be down there every 3 or 4 days all year long?

According to the census, there were 2,082 families in Steamboat in 2000. If 2082 families each use the place 100 days per year, that's 570 families in there every day, all year long. Cut that number by 90% and you've still got a huge mess to deal with on any given day.

How about, don't build it now, and don't build it later? Move back to Baltimore and Philly and New York instead.

Yeah, I know it's cold outside in the winter. I know that families are crammed into little tiny houses on tiny lots and the kids don't have a place to play. SO MOVE to a better place. Is that so hard to understand?

Nobody would we asking for this thing if they didn't expect to get more than they are paying for as individuals, and they expect the rest of the taxpayers to fund it.

How about this? Make it a municipal bond issue, to be paid for by user fees, and see if you can get it financed that way. See how many investors you get . . . .

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katrinkakelly 7 years, 2 months ago

I would absolutely love this rec center but we must find a another way to fund it. Where is the big money that can make this happen without burdening the taxpayer?

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

Pt22 - On your rising assessments. You better put on your seat belt.

Our wonderful planning people have been on a mission to stop the growth for some years now. We are now in a land crunch. And just in time for Intrawest to take over. (It's not Intrawest that you need to worry about, it's the developers that follow them)

The more the city tries to stop the growth and create affordable housing, the more property values go up. They will jerk 700 around as much as they can, until it's no longer anywhere near affordable. This pattern will continue and also factoring in the Intrawest effect, so will the RE feeding frenzy.

The value of your property will double maybe triple, whether you like it or not. So will your RE taxes. This little teensy weensy tax increase is a snowflake on the driveway compared to the tax avalanche that is about to smash your house of cards. But you lucked out, the wise people (also taxpayers) who put this rec center together wrote it up so that your tax dollars going to the rec center stay the same.

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beentheredonethat 7 years, 2 months ago

I would absolutely love this rec center but we must find a another way to fund it. Where is the big money that can make this happen without burdening the taxpayer?

That statement is absolutely correct. Future projects should be funded to the greatest extent possible by private entities.

Taxpayers should not have to subsidize unprofitable (and unnecessary) amenities.

Vote NO.

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titsikama 7 years, 2 months ago

I noticed quite a number of comments about developers and private entities sporting the money. Just to let you know the developers are already paying for what most would consider a public responsibility. Affordable housing is the big one, especially with linkage. Not saying its not important, just saying that most of it it is funded by private people. Any minor addition regardless of its location requires that the developer install public sidewalks and culverts regardles of its costs and the potential usage of the sidewalk, this burden can be very high. I know of run that will cost $65,000.00. Do I think developers should share the burden of the community in which they develop, absolutely. Maybe we should just say-developer, you can pick from a host of items to pay for-you choose and we would probably get a Rec center funded. Who would pay for affordable housing then? Would you vote on a tax increase for that? What about sidewalks, culvets and parking garages?

Colobob, does affordable housing benefit everyone? Not directly anyway. But i still believe it is an important public benefit. There was no affordable housing for my mother when she raised 5 kids on $800.00 a month, so Bubba I do understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. Every dollar I made as teen went to pay for our mortgage. The advantage of a property tax is that for most individuals it is a tax deductable expense. Sales tax and other forms of tax are not.

Many people see this as a community investment. We have a lot of great family and youth and teen programs that cannot live up to their potential due to lack of space. Even if you don't personally use something, it doesn't mean it is not valuable to a community. Rec Centers around the world have proven community benefit.

Sorry, I try to be nice on the blog, but just have to say 3 things. If you really have something to say about how this should be and this should not be, it would be really good that you speak out ahead of time. Community voices are more valuable when they serve as a guide before the fact rather then criticism after. Secondly, my great, great grandfather was married to a Ute who lived in this area so maybe I have more claim then most idsp04? Finally, this is not about a pool! Thank you.

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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

Bouldergrad, I read through the above comments, and did not find any hate-filled rants, the only one that really came close was when I was called a negative whiner.

I do not think I have been bashing this, I have just been trying to get someone to explain why I should fund someone else's recreational opportunities. The most compelling argument I have heard so far is 'because you can probably afford higher taxes.' I'm sorry if you feel like this is bashing, if it is, I am sure these intelligent readers of yours will see that my resistance to paying for this is actually a hate-filled rant, BUT the fact remains that I don't need a rec center, and I don't think it is an appropriate use of tax money.

I'm not saying that a rec center is a bad idea, if this thing gets shut down (which I obviously hope it will), I would recommend you folks look into finding a way to fund this without further burdening the working residents of this town- a public-private partnership comes to mind (and not just because it says that in the City Council's mission statement). Have you considered a private rec center company? There are companies that build and operate these things for a profit, and probably don't charge much more than the proposed one does for a membership. The city can even collect sales tax!

Books, I do not vote against everything, I just vote against things that I view as an inappropriate use of tax money, a category that this falls into.

I've heard a lot about these valid, unbiased surveys that indicate everyone needs a rec center. Keep in mind, these were performed by a consultant company that specializes in getting rec centers built. If this gets approved, I am obviously wrong, but my sneaking suspicion is that these surveys aren't as unbiased as you'd think- if they came back and said nobody wanted one, wouldn't their checks dry up?

There is a truly unbiased survey coming up, the one that says 'do you think we should raise taxes to spend 66 million dollars on a rec center.' I know how I'm voting, and if that makes me a negative whiner, then so be it.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

bubba

I don't use the senior center, but I'm paying for it. I don't use the tennis bubble, but I'm paying for it I don't use the baseball fields, but I'm paying for them I don't use the golf course, but I'm paying for it

If we applied your standards to the library, we probably would not have one.
I don't golf, it's not fair to charge me for it, so I want a refund. I want my money back on the tennis center too. I will never set foot in the senior center, I should not have to pay for it either. And what about those bike trails, I'm sure there is someone out there who shouldn't have to pay for those either.

Where do you draw that imaginary line? Why would you hold the rec center to a standard that has never been applied to any municipal facility ever built in Steamboat?

Isn't the tennis center one of your semi private clubs? You have to pay to get in. My tax dollars built it.

Same with the golf course.

Using your logic, if every project has to stand on its own, we would never have much of anything. It would be kinda like living in Toponas

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

BoulderGrad...please provide the exact citation to your representation that:

"Last Tuesday's paper told of the impending annexation of Silver Spur, Heritage & Steamboat II."

You keep repeating this as a fact and I do not think that to be the case!

I suggest to re-read the article and point out the basis of your representation.

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!

It is wrong to assume that any homes and/or neighborhoods will be annexed into the city limits.

In regards to "Steamboat 700", 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.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

Buba

Also - I understand your concern over the surveys. That is why I am suggesting that people do their own valid, unbiased survey by going to visit one of these other rec centers. Then decide.

You would not only see what they have to offer, but you would see just how many people actually use them. You might even find something you like.

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lusciojo 7 years, 2 months ago

haha this makes me laugh....

Whats his name? armchairqb? What did he say? "it's not my fault I live in a 3/4 million dollar house" lol.

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elkeye 7 years, 2 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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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

If that were the case, I would be whining about that, because I don't golf, play tennis or care about triple crown either. Tax dollar spending for recreation seems out of control in this town, and the cost structure of this thing seems exorbitant for something that people claim has such a pent up demand.

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colobob 7 years, 2 months ago

It all comes down to living within one means, not trying to live within someone elses. I don't see private investors chomping at the bit to build this thing. Could it be that they (priv. investors) see it the same way that many of us do............, a losing proposition? If it can be privately funded build it, if not tax dollars can be put to better use elsewhere!

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armchairqb 7 years, 2 months ago

lusciojo I stand by my statement. I built the house myself I know what I put into it and wouldn't give you a plug nickel over 300 thousand , however my neighbors are asking over 800 thousand for theirs and don't have my square footage. I don't set the prices. While we're at it there is a reason why developers and private equity guys have money it is because the don't just throw money away on frivilous non money making ideas.

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 years, 2 months ago

bouldergrad-BTW the tennis bubble and the golf course clubhouse were not paid for by locals tax dollars they were paid for by a lodging tax collected and contributed by local businesses. Get your facts straight and stop whinning! Believe!

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

BoulderGrad...are ready to correct the information you posted regarding the "the impending annexation of Silver Spur, Heritage & Steamboat II"?

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!

It is wrong to assume that any homes and/or neighborhoods will be annexed into the city limits.

In regards to "Steamboat 700", 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.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

id04sp

You promised me 300 days of sunshine. It's rained or snowed all five days since you posted.

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Harvey Lyon 7 years, 2 months ago

If I lived in Stmbt II, Heritatge, or Silver Spur....I would vote against annex......the amenities are good but the stability of policies stinks. Steamboat, the City, still caters to the latest gazillionaire that moves to town or worse yet....doesn't move here....just wants to make money here.

RC Supervisors seem to remain on course....they're predictable and pretty far sighted in a conservative sort of way.....makes me sleep better at night.

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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

Books, responding to a comment I missed earlier:

Are not the tennis bubble, golf course and ball fields funded by lodging taxes, so you are not paying for them, unless you rent a hotel room?

And to further the comparison, tax dollars do fund the library, but you don't have to buy a membership or pay a fee to enter there, do you?

The core trail is the only one funded by the city, if you are referring to hard surface bike trails, the rest were built by property owners at the command of the city. I was under the impression that the mtn bike trails were maintained by volunteers (routt county riders?)

So of those points you made, the only one that I believe is a true analogy is the senior center. And that is not funded by a city property tax, to the best of my knowledge. While I may not necessarily approve of tax dollars for that, caring for our elderly seems like a better use of tax money than building someone a swimming pool.

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colobob 7 years, 2 months ago

In virtually every article written about the proposed rec center someone will bring up the issue of the pool and the diving well in a post. In almost every case there is someone (usually the same folks) stating that "its not just a pool." Yet if the pool were to be omitted (something that would significantly recuce the price tag) from the plan how many would be in favor of the construction of the rec. center? My guess would be darn few would support it being built. Conversely if one of the other amenities were omitted and the construction of the pool left in tact I'm betting that those claiming it not to be just about the pool would still be in favor of it. This makes it pretty clear as to which "special interest" group is driving this idea forward.

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Books 7 years, 2 months ago

Well first, It's way more than a swimming pool.

The lodging tax would have been the best way to fund the rec center, but it is pretty much as high as it can go, paying for all of those other special interest projects.

None of these projects get built on their own or stand on their own.

If the rec center had been funded by the lodging tax first and maxed it out, then you would be holding the golf course, the tennis center and the ball fields to the same standard you are now applying to the rec center. Right?

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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

(that one's directed at Books' last post, not cb and pt)

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

"It's way more than a ($10-12 million dollar) swimming pool". Really?

The other amentities are merely a transparent effort to try and get support to overcome the huge negatives associated with a six-lane pool and diving well for the benefit of a few.

Rather than a property tax for the construction and/or operation of a recreation center, the proponents should have considered a lift ticket tax?

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

The idea of a lift ticket tax should have been explored further!

Why was the answer no? Hopefully not just because ski corp. may not view it as a positive.

Times have changed since the 1970's (including the price of a lift ticket) and its time to seriously look at why there is no tax on ticket sales.

The idea that the city would tax food and not lift ticket sales needs to be revisted.

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Vince arroyo 7 years, 2 months ago

CHOICES TO LIVE HERE, LET'S BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE VOTE NO ON THE REC CENTER. WAS IT SHOVED DOWN CITY CITY COUNCILS THROATS?

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trollunderthebridge 7 years, 2 months ago

Have any of you stopped the think just why our fair City Council put the Rec Center on the ballot? Do you think it was because they actually believe in it? Or do you think it was a way to let the voters to vote it down and then they could stand by and say "We offered this" and make themselves look good, knowing full well in the first place that this would not fly!

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colobob 7 years, 2 months ago

troll, to be honest I hadn't for a minute considered that possibility. I hope your assumption is correct although there comes a point in time when people just need to hear the cold hard facts. I'm not sure that telling people what they want to hear instead of the way things are is the right aproach. Schools are overcrowded and lacking proper facilities I would think they are more important than the construction of the rec. center. We keep hearing in many instances that its about the kids. If its really about the kids, who are the future, I would think they would take priority. There are schools that currently have no phs. ed. programs do to overcrowding, yet to some this rec. center is far more important. Spending should be prioritized and infrastucture should come first in order of its importance. A tax funded rec. center when so many other things need improvement is in my mind selfish and just plain foolish. As many others have stated it should be private venture otherwise those driving this proposal should stand in line. It would be nice if we could all have what we want in life, unfortunately thats not how life is. Tax money can be better spent elsewhere. Sometimes you just have to get by with what you have. No on 2B &2C.

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colobob 7 years, 2 months ago

titsiskama, Does affordable housing benifit everyone? Actually it does, if not in the short term it does long term. Every resident in the community contributes financially, through tax dollars, local expenditures or both. The small restaurant owner for example benefits just as much from someone living in a $200,000. home as he does from someone whose home is worth $1,000,000. To him every meal he serves is money that keeps his business afloat. He in turn pays taxes, spends some of his money on repairs or renovations most likely done by local contractors, as well as supporting other local businesses with personal expenditures. In addition affordable housing allows employers to hire help for less money than most would or could afford to work for. Once again this adds to the local economy. So my answer to your question is yes. And just for the record I'm against the purchase of the Iron Horse - but that's another matter. Affordable housing was but one of the many points that you chose to challenge. There are many others that you did not. Either way the bottom line is the rec. center is a luxury not a necessity and there are much better ways to spend the tax payers money especially when it will only benifit a small portion of the community. The final vote will determine the percentage of people in favor of the proposal and I am quessing the percentage will be quite small compared to the overall population. The project is just too expensive. The logical solution for funding the rec, center is to privatize it. While I disagree with you opinon I admire your zeal. NO ON 2B &2C.

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dogd 7 years, 2 months ago

NO on this newcomer amenity --if you need one of these, move back to anywhere USA where you came from.

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Brianna 7 years, 2 months ago

Please vote yes. We here in Denver need another reason to drive past Breckenridge and Silverthorne and Avon and wind up in Steamboat. I love your town, but you are really missing out on a rec. center. Church groups cannot go to Steamboat because a rec center occupies a lot of time for a little cost. It also does not depend on good weather. It will more than pay for itself. Check out your competition, because you are a resort town. Thanks, Brianna

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

Slim chance Brianna, since this thing is proposed to be funded by a property tax and the operation deficit funded by another property tax!

If the lodging community wants to support an increase in the lodging tax to build this thing (and subsidize the operating deficit)...........maybe.

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bubba 7 years, 2 months ago

That's rich, someone from Denver imploring us to use our tax money on a recreational opportunity for them. Maybe we could get this on the Denver ballot?

Brianna, if this thing would 'more than pay for itself,' this debate wouldn't be happening. The fact is, it will not pay for itself, it will be built and subsidized by tax dollars of Steamboat residents, which is what many of us are opposed to. This place is plenty crowded in the winter and summer as it is, so I don't need to use my tax money to ensure the livelihood of hoteliers, as you seem to be suggesting.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

bubba- how do we know you are part of "us?"

Here is a person saying they are tourists saying this is a reason for not coming and it's immediately shrugged off as "you don't count." (By my own logic, they could also be lying, but in the other thread, at least they signed a name...as Brian, but we all misspell things when typing.) This is besides being told that with all the new construction, it tax will be spread further out and even someone else saying a few days ago that the tax might be written off on your 1040's. IF...and since I didn't bother to check if it could be written off...IF it could be written off, how many more reasons do you need to justify not being taxed for it? The answer: below.

"Hello, my name is Nimby! Don't bother to introduce yourself back since I don't care!" Now there's hospitality for ya!

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

"...the tax will be spread out..." not "it tax..." See? I misspell all the tyme!

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Brianna 7 years, 2 months ago

How do you explain that every other mountain community/resort has a rec center but Steamboat? Do you think they all regret their decisions?The average income in Steamboat I bet is pretty high. Lighten up folks and if you do get a rec center, I hope you dont stay away just because you did not vote for it. I understand exercise releives stress. The rec center will have a hot tub I hope.

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bubba 7 years, 1 month ago

Matthew. People who know me know me by the name bubba, so I don't feel the need to reiterate it at the end of my posts. That is all the energy I will give your crusade against anonymity.

Yes, I am brushing off an outsider's assertion that this will 'more than pay for itself,' because if the consultants who have been hired by the proponents of this, who specialize in getting rec centers built, believed that this could pay for itself, then we wouldn't need to be voting on an additional tax to build it and subsidize it's operation.

I am not saying that we shouldn't have a rec center, I am saying that this funding mechanism is ill-conceived. If there was sufficient demand for this thing, the city could donate the land for the thing to a company that operates these for profit, and they could build one and probably make money on that. Since that is not an option on the table, my assumption is that the demand is not nearly sufficient to operate this thing, let alone build it or pay the debt service on it.

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Books 7 years, 1 month ago

Bubba I appreciate your rational analysis.

I do believe that there is enough demand for a private rec center to survive, but not at much of a profit. For a private investor to put 34 million at risk, in Steamboat, there would need to be a much bigger payoff. It would just never happen, there are better opportunities for someone willing to invest 34 million.

We would pay for it either way but if we do it with a tax, 20 years later we still own it. And I would not want my rec center fees going to pad some rich guy's wallet.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

books...you do not want your rec center fees going to pad some rich guy's wallet, but want my tax dollars to build and subsidize your rec center.

get real!

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Books 7 years, 1 month ago

elkeye - Tax dollars are already subsidizing something or another that you take advantage of so I don't feel too bad about it. And besides it's not nearly as much as your spin people would like us to believe.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

The decision to fund the contruction (and subsidize the operation) of this thing by a city proerty tax is the basic problem!

The city made the decision years ago not to have any property tax and rely on a sales tax on most items including food (but not lift ticktets).

Again If the lodging community wants to support an increase in the lodging tax to build this recreation center (and subsidize the operating deficit)...........maybe.

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Books 7 years, 1 month ago

I think the lodging tax is maxed out. Visitors are paying a total of something like 15.4% right now. I just don't see it being profitable enough on private side, the last thing we need is a bankrupt rec center. We just had 10 years of a bankrupt ski area.

Quoting the pilot a few years ago

"One of the benefits of the property tax is that it shifts a greater burden to second-home owners, who receive city services for their homes but who contribute little in sales taxes compared to full-time residents."

With all of this new development the second homeowner will soon make up about 60% of the valuations. The second homeowners who don't rent their units are getting a free ride. They pay very little sales tax and no lodging tax. Yet they get to enjoy the golf course and tennis center and every thing else for a small entrance fee. And they enjoy all of the other city services (police, fire,,) for free.

What a deal. You and I are giving them a free ride.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 1 month ago

Books- depending on who's in the URA or LMD districts, lodging taxes are between 15.4 to 17.8ish %...not including if a property still has a civic assessment they pass on.

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sickofitall 7 years, 1 month ago

If we wait is there a chance we won't have to pay double on a rec center? I mean 34 million for 66 million? Thats an awful interest rate. I do not want to pay double for a rec center. BTW, why not wait till our other projects are finished?

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