West-side school gets boost

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— Steamboat 700 developers say they're willing to pay for as much as half the cost of construction of a new school in west Steamboat.

Representatives from the development group made the presentation during Monday's School Board meeting. There has been an ongoing discussion between the board and developers, and Monday's discussion was the first time the sides have publicly discussed specifics of a potential agreement. Steamboat 700 developers are trying to finalize annexation negotiations with the Steamboat Springs City Council.

Representatives from Steamboat 700 identified three revenue streams that may be included in the development's annexation agreement with the city to help the Steamboat Springs School District build a school for 600 students, grades kindergarten through eight. The building would be built on land owned by the district on the west side of town near the proposed mixed-use development.

"We've come up with the proposal you have before you this evening, the best proposal to help you not have to rely entirely on property tax and bond issues to get a new school built in the west Steamboat area," said Bob Weiss, an attorney representing Steamboat 700.

The amount of money provided through the agreement would come from real estate transfer fees, sales and use tax revenue and the standard property tax.

Superintendent Shalee Cunningham said she appreciated the offer.

The Steamboat 700 team used a set of placeholder numbers as examples for discussion. Weiss said a cost of $24 million for the school and a contribution of $12 million from the three revenue streams were rough estimates. In theory, Steamboat 700 would pay 50 percent of the price during the 15 years it will take to complete the project.

The agreement, if passed by the district, the board and the city, would institute a 1 percent real estate transfer fee, with 30 percent of the fee going to the development of a school.

Comments

Wendy Powell 5 years, 7 months ago

I am not in favor of annexation and I don't appreciate the offer that half of the cost of a new school for 600 kids could be raised by this project, that doesn't even begin to cut it.

If the school district is prepared to help support new schools, we need them in North Routt and South Routt already.

The Steamboat 700 has the potential for 2600 homes. With an average of 1 kid per household (this is a high density affordable "family" oriented project so that number is likely low...) the elementary school they are talking about building is already too small.

And then, this is a K-8 facility. Where do these kids go to high school? You got it, we will need to build another high school. Maybe two new elementaries and one new high school, and hopefully these kids are all old enough for school, because the waitlists for infant and early child care are years long at best case.

This annexation is taking away the quality of life in Steamboat that draws people here (small class size for one) and giving a token here and a token there to try to be appeasing.

The time is now, we all need to speak up about this project. Let your councilpersons know how you feel!

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