Kami Brockway: Rec center needed

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— This proposed recreation center is long overdue. I moved here in 1984 when I was a 13-year-old teen. Yes, I skied after school and recreated outdoors. When it came time to hang out with friends, we were either at the Gofer parking lot or other choice parking lots. We spent an occasional night at the movies; most nights out were spent sneaking into particular restaurant/bars. They provided us with the dance floors, pool tables, foosball and video games that we wanted to play.

These were not non-alcoholic environments. Eventually, this led to a little temptation. Our teens today, 20 years later, are faced with the same choices and similar establishments. I should actually thank them for letting these kids hang out there. However, there should be safer, healthier options for these kids.

I am currently raising three kids in age ranges from four to 15. I can not wait to take them to our new recreation center. This is the one activity I have found in other communities that I can do with any aged child. I am not able to ski or bike ride with a 4-year-old, 15-year-old and their grandmother at the same time. Yet rock climbing, swimming and playing in an open gym\indoor playground is something that can be done as a family. This will be an asset for all of Steamboat and the surrounding areas.

I appreciate the outdoor activities we have in Steamboat. However, there is a missing link in our community - a facility that will permanently house our after-school programs and provide a safe, entertaining place for teens to hang out with friends. A place for parents to meet with babies and toddlers, either in the dead of winter or the heat of summer. Senior citizens can take a walk with friends, swim without getting out of a pool in 20-degree weather. Skateboard in a world-class skate park (already funded). A place to invite tourists to be a part of our welcoming community.

We are faced with the same teen problems we had 20 years ago. This is an opportunity to start making some changes, and admit that it does take a village to raise our kids. Vote yes on 2B and 2C for our kids, your kids, your grandkids, your neighbor's kids. Give our future leaders a safe, fun, healthy environment to be kids.

Kami Brockway

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Harvey Lyon 7 years, 1 month ago

The rec center is a nice idea and a desireable offer....but it doesn't make sense for it to negate 30 percent of our baseball/softball fields and 15 percent of our soccer/football/lacrosse/rugby fields.

We're short in these fields to start with and there's little hope of replacing them with the same quality in the near future.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

"a smaller artificial turf field which can eventually be covered to be a fieldhouse"...at an additional cost of how much?

Is the cost to cover the artificial turf field included in the $34 million project? I think not!

If ski corp wants an indoor facility for concerts, they (not the taxpayers) should construct one on their property.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

Private funds should be raised BEFORE any capital project is proposed to the taxpayers. Moreover, a plan to pay for operations (without taxpayer support) should be developed.

Where are the private funds to construct a $10-12 million dollar six-lane pool and diving well?

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

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ColoradoNative 7 years, 1 month ago

We need to deal with traffic before wasting money on a Rec Center.

I like that line BoulderGrad "The longer we wait the more it will cost".

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birddog 7 years, 1 month ago

It might not be all that long before we would see the first big decrease in the rec center tax bill. Look at the development projects that are already in the pipeline but have not yet been completed. All of these projects under construction are not on the tax rolls yet. The land is on the tax roll and the completed units are, but that's all. Their valuation increases dramatically upon completion.

Two new Trappers Crossing Buildings One Steamboat Place Porches Edgemont/Bearclaw Wildhorse Riverwalk Olympian The Victorian Alpen Glow Howelsen Place Estate Villas Cimarron Highmark Blackhawk Chadwick Estates Village at Steamboat The Aspens Riverfront Park Two dozen high-end homes near the base area

There are probably others in the works that I don't know about. Nearly all of these are high-end, high-value properties that will boost the total valuations. The two Trappers buildings alone will be more than all of Heritage Park.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

BoulderGrad...you and I agree on one thing.

" It's a wonderful amenity."

However, this "wonderful amenity" should be paid for by the users NOT the property owners of the city of Steamboat Springs!

In regards to the pool, it's about the pool to the tune of $10-12 million (as well as the large operating deficit).

You wanted the "whole hog" (including the pool) on the ballot!

If this "hog" gets slaughtered on Nov. 6th, you and your small band of suporters can blame only themselves.

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kt 7 years, 1 month ago

I was trying to make a point in my letter this AM! This is about our kids and their futures. Put a price tag on that! Not all kids are involved in winter sports, and need other options available to them. This facility will house all of our Parks & Rec after school programs, school days off, and summer camps. These facilities have been previously housed in run down temporary buildings. It is time we give our working families and kids a safe warm PERMANENT place to go! This is for the families who do not have after school care now because P&R can only accommodate approximately 50 kids a day. The need is there, it is a necessity. It is not just about a pool!

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bubba 7 years, 1 month ago

If this is so necessary to keep kids out of trouble, off drugs, warm and skin-cancer free, why are all previous generations not drug addicted cancer patients freezing to death in jail cells? We all turned out alright, why are kids today so different? Teens who will sneak into a bar will sneak into a bar whether or not someone other than their parents pays for a 34 million dollar babysitter for them, and teens who would choose wholesome, supervised recreation instead are not going to turn to a life of alcohol abuse because they don't have an indoor pool.

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titsikama 7 years, 1 month ago

Elkeye, The pool is not 10-12 million. The two pools cost 8.9 And the operating deficit without the pools is higher because it draws in less memberships and tourists according to the consultants. You know elkeye, OTHS has a wonderful amenity that connot be duplicated in this facility or elsewhere. It seems to me that OTHS has looked at this assest as a cheap way to heat water and not the wonderful amenity it is. Hot Springs and Rec Centers have survived in communities throughout the West, when the Hot Springs remember what they are and realize what they cannot be. The name was changed from Health and Rec when they were less focused on recreation and more on the Hot Springs. Now the name is changed to OTHS and they are less focused on the Hot Springs experience and more on recreation. I don't get it. It seems OTHS is promoting the idea of the Post Office again. Wierd you didn't mention you wanted the city to pay 10 million for it.

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beentheredonethat 7 years, 1 month ago

Vote NO and keep money in your pocket, to spend as you please.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

titsikama...I have NEVER suggested that I wanted the city to purchase the Post Office site and/build a pool for the benefit of the OTHS.

OTHS is free to construct (and operate) whatever they want at their expense. However, the OTHS does not have the means to purchase the Post Office site and/or construct a six-lane pool and diving well without taxpayer support.

The proposed recreation center will operate at a deficit (with or without pools) because users are unwilling to pay membership fees/daily use fees sufficient to cover the operating expenses.

If the users to do not want to pay sufficient fees to cover the operating costs...the project should not be constructed!

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Books 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice try Bubba. You know she's right.

elkeye, at the risk of sounding like a broken record:

It's more than just a pool.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 1 month ago

"This is for the families who do not have after school care now".... a $34 million babysitter for the parents that can afford membership fees after taxes. Instead of needing the village to raise YOUR children, why doesn't the government limit the number of children you are allowed to have in our new socialist society?

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry, that was harsh but... if this were a small rec center in a small town where recreation was sorely limited and it was actually for the townspeople, I could see the taxpayers wanting to support it, but this is for the elite and the working stiff should realize that. Every time a politician cries "it's for the children" some people can't wait to hand them more money. It's about time for people to pay for their own babysitters and their own recreation and get their hands out of everyone elses pocket.

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colobob 7 years, 1 month ago

If it's more than just a pool then drop the pool. It would knock the disputed figure of $10-$12 million off the price tag even though all would still have to pay even those that can't afford or choose to use it. Of course then it wouldn't have nearly the same support that it has now. That tells me that it's mostly about the pool. "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to decieve." VOTE NO ON 2B & 2C!

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colobob 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey here's an idea! How about the addition of a health conscious food court and a juice bar as well as valet service for all the tourists that will flock to Steamboats latest and greatest attraction. Rediculous? No less so than asking all to pay for the few. And if you think for one minute that a kid is going to quit doing a doobie just because his or her parents dropped him off at a rec. center your all nuts.

NO ON 2B & 2C!!!!!!!!!

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jlkar 7 years, 1 month ago

Bubba will be proven correct. Look at all the towns in the nation that have nice rec centers. Are their populations free of pot-head teens and under-aged drinkers? How long until the kids sneak in a bottle of Gordons and fall off the high-dive?

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 1 month ago

Jlkar- So what's the difference if they sneak a bottle of Gordon's to a propane tank near Meeker and cause an explosion? I'll tell you the difference: the Rec Center will have people on duty (lifeguards and other First Reponders) there to try and prevent those things from happening there.

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lowerprofile 7 years, 1 month ago

For those people who read these blogs, but do not comment on their own...

Please realize that there are a few people out there who are very vocal with "facts" that may or may not be accurate. The best thing to do is to visit www.skitownrec.com and check things out for yourself.

the nay sayers seem to be saying the same few points over and over in different ways, and those who are for a facility will give you MANY different reasons why this proposal is a truly wise idea for our community.

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lowerprofile 7 years, 1 month ago

Sure there are people who won't use a recreation center. There are those who don't ski, don't kayak, don't walk on the bike path, don't use public transportation, etc, but we all pay for those amenities because it promotes a healthy, well-balanced community. Even if much needed recreational amenities were able to be put at the OTHS, (which they can't) there would still be people who wouldn't use it. The point is that we will all benefit from a healthier community with positive opportunities for everyone.

Please get the facts.

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another_local 7 years, 1 month ago

The "fact" is that this is not needed, overblown and funded by an unfair mechanism. If folks want a country club, they should buy the land and build it. If they want to offer it to the public after that, then great, they can do it.

VOTE NO!

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lowerprofile 7 years, 1 month ago

In the 15 years that I have been here, I have never used the fire department, or needed the police department, but I still think it's a good idea to have one.

If folks want a country club they can go to the OTHS. A publicly funded recreation center will charge a reasonable amount for what it offers. Go to www.skitownrec.com to LEARN about the rates that are proposed. The rates are very comparable to what other recreation centers charge around the state.

Nay sayers... If you were that interested in the issue you could have gone to the PUBLIC presentations that explained the business plan. You would have had MANY opportunities to question the plan and gotten direct answers. Now you need to either need to go to www.skitownrec.com or contact the Citizens for a Community Recreation Center and get the FACTS.

Good night and Go Rockies!

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

The only business plan for the proposed recreation center presented at any public presentation relied upon the taxpayer to pay for the construction AND fund the operational deficit!

Without taxpayer funding, the business plan of the proponents fails to make the grade.

A publicly funded recreation center can only charge a "reasonable amount" for what it offers IF all property owners are required to subsidize the users.

No thank you.

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nxoby36 7 years, 1 month ago

Your not going to like this . I don't give a dam about your kids ! I did not expect others to pay for Baby Sitting Mine I did and they came out great ! I don't want to pay for yours ! If you don't want to pay for the things you want for your children or don't have the ability to do so why did you have them ? Are you a bunch of stupid cows ? I already have to pay for killing of unborn thru taxation which is against my beliefs . I have already quit giving my $1,000.00 a year to Horizons because you never gave anything and we are now taxed (forced to pay not donate) . How much did you give them a year before this unfair tax ? When I wanted my kids to get an early education I paid for it now I have to pay for yours . Thats B S and unfair . How many of you when you planed for the future included money to pay for others wants ? Yes wants not needs ! If you feel that you can't live with out these things why did you move to a place that doesn't have them? Why didn't you move to Cuba where the folly of socialism has proven its inability to come through with its promises ? This may come as a surprise to you but this is not a Marxist society . This nation has risen above others because of capitalism and free enterprise . that does not include expecting others to pay for your amenities . If you want a country club get together a bunch of like minded people and dig into your own pockets and pay for it ! Stay out of mine . VOTE NO 2B & 2C

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bubba 7 years, 1 month ago

you are right, lower profile, there are a few people out there that keep reciting 'facts' about this. The simple fact is, many of us do not believe that this is an appropriate use of taxpayer money, and do not believe that there is any reason why we should be paying for other people's recreation. That is a fact.

The 'facts' that your team keep reciting are that without this, kids will suffer cancer and drug abuse, and that people in this town can't exercise in the winter.

Once again, I don't see why I am responsible for paying for anyone's recreation but mine and my family's. I don't believe for a minute that having this rec center will prevent one kid from succumbing to the temptation of drugs and alcohol. This article's premise is that without this center, kids are forced to sneak into bars to hang out, and once they are in the bar, the temptation of alcohol is too much for them to handle. When I was a kid, I never once snuck into a bar without the intent of drinking, and I doubt anyone else did either. Kids who sneak into bars do so to drink, not to play golden tee. (and books, you know I am right!)

Sure, a rec center may be an asset to this community, but the financing structure proposed is ill-conceived and unfair to the people who don't want or need it.

Interesting point about capitalism, nxoby. Isn't that the system by which if there is enough demand for something to make it worth-while, private enterprise meets that demand? I wonder if that might apply to a rec center?

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Books 7 years, 1 month ago

There has been some discussion about the rec center tax dropping if the city annexes the subdivisions to the west. I believe the point that birddog was trying to make in an earlier post is that all of this new construction will increase the tax base and, because of the cap, cause the rec center tax to go down. I checked out.

Two Trappeur's Crossing buildings - the ads say 36 - 3, 4 and 5 bedroom condominiums with an average price of $1.2M.
That's 72 X 1.2mil = 86.4 million.

Heritage Park subdivision - A quick assessor search shows 89 lots, all but a few are built on. Most recent sale was 699k, looks like the average is probably in the 600k range. For sake of discussion I'll use 700k and assume full build out.
That's 700K X 89 = 62.3 million.

So unless someone corrects my math the two Trappeur's buildings would add more value than annexing all of Heritage Park.

Birddog listed a bunch of other projects, I don't have time to track down and add up the values of all of them right now, but it looks like Steamboat's tax base is going to double in the next few years without annexing anything.

As I understand this, the way the rec center ballot is written, there is a limit on how much rec center tax the city can collect. It's based on the total valuation of Steamboat properties. The more properties coming on to the tax rolls, the lower the rec center tax. It's really good timing because there are a bunch of expensive high-end projects under construction and more coming soon. Putting a cap on this tax was a great idea.

Vote Yes. The rec center is going to cost even less than I thought.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

books...if the rec. center is going to cost even less than you thought, I suggest that you and your small group of supporters raise the funds and build this thing on your own nickel!

However, as you know full well they do not want to raise the funds but hope that the property owners of the city will build it.

Don't hold your breath ..... waiting for the taxpayers to approve it!

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snowbunny 7 years, 1 month ago

That article was sad. I have children of my own and I would never rely on the village to raise them. Quite frankly, "our village" has turned into a big city due to proposals just like this. In my view , a rec center has nothing to do with how my kids turn out. Let me repeat. nothing. I am a mother that takes responsbilty for my children's whereabouts. I do the best to instill good values and there is'nt a village in this world that could do a better job......don't drag mothers down with this mantra. Here's an idea. Take the tax money and the fees you save and spend some extra time with your children. Go swimming at the pools we have...take a bike ride...and most importantly, take a long long long hike. VOTE NO.

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Vince arroyo 7 years, 1 month ago

Well said snowbunny. Its time to take responibilty Vote NO.

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kt 7 years, 1 month ago

Did any of you get to vote for the "country club" at Haymaker or the "country club" at the tennis bubble? How about the new "country club" senior center out west of town? At least you have the option to vote no on this...

as for the rest of our little village, at least I am not hiding behind my computer screen throwing stones, I had the nerve to speak my mind and own up to it...

as far as snowbunny is concerned, I am going to assume you must home school your children, never hire local high school babysitters, or work for a living and need the services our City offers working parents. Otherwise, you would be living in our village. If you would like to represent the "mothers mantra" you should give a course in raising children...oh wait then someone might find out who you are. So Sad! Kami Brockway

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bubba 7 years, 1 month ago

Did they impose a city property tax for those?

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 1 month ago

Tell everyone what: get City Council to get rid of sales taxes that pay for things such city essentials and make those the property tax imposed by the city. Would that make you all happier?

Then, sales tax could be lowered for a bit, then raised to cover Rec Centers, Dog Parks, etc. By doing that, all essentials will have plenty of tax money coming in based on millions upon millions of dollars worth of real estate. Steamboat will have the shiniest fire trucks, the fastest/safest police vehicles, streets paved with gold, bicycle lanes, every street will have a sidewalk, etc.

Would that make you happy?

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another_local 7 years, 1 month ago

"a publically funded center will charge a reasonable....."

If I wanted to swim I could join OTHS and pay the membership fee each year. An annual family membership would be cheaper than the tax bill for the rec center is going to be.

A rec center is not in the same class of public services as police and fire service. Comparing them is really wide of the mark.

NO on the rec center. Pay for your own needs.

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Books 7 years, 1 month ago

another

Look at the list of new projects in birddog's post. A bunch of those people will want to go to a rec center. The OTHS is going to be more crowded than ever. It's already maxed out.

There is a huge need that isn't going to go away. I'd rather build it now rather than pay a bunch more to built it later.

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nxoby36 7 years, 1 month ago

Books Just why should I/we pay for the recreation of others ? Remember this is not a Marxist country or did you forget ? The good thing about the Free Enterprise system is " if there is a need some one will fill it " and make money instead of lose money as all goverment projects seem to do. I voted today NO 2B & 2C

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another_local 7 years, 1 month ago

I doubt it would cost a private developer 34 million.

Remember, this is the same team that brought us the community center for $500 a square foot in construction cost (exluding land). Somehow, private developers manage to build for less than half that.

How/Why is it that we are getting a new libary, new school, new community center and now voting on a new rec center? None of the features of these projects could be combined?

VOTE NO on poor planning, irresponsible spending, unfair taxes and poor project expense management. NO on the rec center.

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elkeye 7 years, 1 month ago

Books, if there is a "huge need that is not going away" why don't you take all that energy and your private resources and build the rec center yourself? Operate it as a business. Later you can reep the profits :) LOL !

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Books 7 years, 1 month ago

I do believe that there is or will be 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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twostroketerror 7 years, 1 month ago

The Rec center makes as much sense as mowing down working peoples homes for tennis courts.

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oldskoolstmbt 7 years, 1 month ago

well said bubba!!! i grew up here as well and don't recall sneaking into bars (do you really have to sneak into a restaurant?) to play pool, foosball, etc....we snuck in to drink and meet hot tourist's! for the less fortunate i.e.:couldn't afford winter sports club, swim team, or memberships to the pool...we had burger express for our recreation, oh, and we had JOBS!

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trollunderthebridge 7 years, 1 month ago

Why not think about this one. All you supporters are hoping that we will have the Rec Center paid for by the Tourists. But if Towny has his way, he will run all the second homeowners and tourists out of town since he thinks they are just trading us like a commodity and shouldn't be here in the first place. And then who will be left holding the bag! You and me! Be careful what you supporters wish for!

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