Burgess Creek, shown here near Ski Time Square on Tuesday afternoon, may see several improvements this summer, such as daylighting, which will involve diverting some of the creek's water out of a culvert and into a stream.

Photo by Brian Ray

Burgess Creek, shown here near Ski Time Square on Tuesday afternoon, may see several improvements this summer, such as daylighting, which will involve diverting some of the creek's water out of a culvert and into a stream.

URAAC may not seek city loan

Council explores funding options for base area redevelopment

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— A major part of Joe Kracum's job in the coming weeks will be figuring out how to move forward with the design of improvements to the area around the ski base.

The redevelopment coordinator of Kracum Resources LLC met with the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday night to talk about funding options for the project, as well as its ongoing operation and maintenance. Although Kracum brought up the possibility of asking the city for a $223,000 loan until the next bond issue comes through, he said he was going to explore other options with the Urban Redevelopment Area Advisory Council. That group meets Friday.

One option is to go with a design-build approach, Kracum said. Under that plan, the project contractor would hire the designer who is planning the next piece of the development. That cost would then be included in the contractor's payment for actual construction.

"We're going to work diligently to try to make that work without asking for additional funds," Kracum said, citing concerns about the city's reserves.

The redevelopment authority also discussed the possibility of moving up the next bond issue for the base area projects. In addition to a proposed roundabout at Mount Werner Circle and Apres Ski Way, they include a promenade around the ski base and the daylighting of Burgess Creek, which will involve diverting some of the creek's water out of a culvert and into a stream during the summer.

"We're talking about a tremendous project that's just this close," Council Member Cari Hermacinski said at Tuesday's meeting. "We've got to find a way to get there."

The second part of the bond issue for the project was initially planned for April 2009, Kracum said. The authority discussed moving it up to November, but city officials were skeptical the bond market would improve enough to make that possible.

"The real truth of the matter is that we don't know when that market will stabilize," City Council President Loui Antonucci said.

The next bond issue is meant to provide $8 million to $15 million for the project, Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said Wednesday. A loan would have to come out of the city's reserves, DuBord said. The unrestricted reserves, or the funds the city could actually spend, are estimated at $3 million to $3.5 million.

Because of those limitations, Kracum said, he is focusing on the design-build option.

Kracum said he also aims to finalize an agreement on operations and maintenance for the promenade in the next couple of weeks. Instead of putting together agreements with all five major property owners on the route, he said, the redevelopment authority will sign an agreement only with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., which will handle arrangements with the other owners.

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