Kevin Kaminski: Yes to vote and 700

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One thing that has been lost in all the discussion about the Steamboat 700 petition is that not every person who signed it is against the annexation. This annexation is a large decision, and I feel I have heard enough concern from the public that the public should have their say.

Yes, I signed the petition. And yes, I support the annexation 100 percent. I suspect there are many other citizens who signed the petition whose minds are not entirely made up or who haven’t spent the appropriate amount of time on the issue to form an opinion.

I am in favor of a public vote because I believe this is an important enough issue for our community to weigh in on, but with this right to vote comes the responsibility of the public to take the time to get educated on what is actually being proposed. My sincere hope is that we the public will take the time to get informed and will vote based on facts, not on falsehoods and knee-jerk reactions.

This annexation has taken several city councils and city staff several years to formulate a wonderful project that will ensure smart growth for our community. Now we are expecting our citizens to do the same amount of homework and get educated in just a few months. I challenge each and every citizen to learn about the project and partner that is involved and to avoid the pitfalls of knee-jerk reactions to misinformation and negative rhetoric.

We the citizens need to educate ourselves via the Internet, questions to the City Council and city staff, and questions to Steamboat 700 for starters.

I support the annexation because Steamboat 700 is a responsible approach to managing growth for the Yampa Valley.

This annexation is a key part in the long-term health and vitality of this community, and Steamboat Springs needs the ability to control our own destiny when it comes to the issue of regional growth.

I strongly believe that once the citizens of Steamboat Springs take the necessary time to educate themselves about what Steamboat 700 has to offer for the future of our community, and once they also understand the undesirable outcomes if we reject this plan, then the City Council’s decision to annex Steamboat 700 will be reaffirmed. Change is not always easy, but it is inevitable. I am glad we get a chance to vote on Steamboat 700.

The types of changes that will come to Steamboat Springs, Routt County and the entire Yampa Valley without Steamboat 700 will detract from the quality of life here that we have all come to enjoy.

Kevin Kaminski

Steamboat Springs

Comments

aichempty 4 years, 11 months ago

Kevin,

Does the $34,000,000 price tag, to be paid by the City, for water system improvements affect your enthusiasm at all?

It's apparent from the article on the "water report" that the only way to finance the necessary improvements is to issue bonds which then have to be repaid from sales tax revenue, unless the City imposes a real estate tax on existing structures.

I would really like to see some people come clean on what they knew, and when they knew it, regarding the actual cost of the required improvements. Whether they knew that the City would ultimately spend more on water/sewer infrastructure than the developers paid for the entire parcel of land is a matter of public concern. Either way, everybody should be more careful in the future.

Generously assuming that 100 "affordable" homes would actually be provided by development of SB700, that would amount to a subsidy of $340,000 for EACH unit at City expense. What part of that is affordable for anybody? Who does it benefit other than realtors, developers and a very FEW people who are willing to pay $300,000+ for a 1000 square foot, or smaller, "affordable home." Even then, are we doing anybody a favor by helping them become house poor for the sake of a few miles of commuting?

I fully support SB700 as a market rate development, but let the market pick up the tab for the required infrastructure in advance. The homes to be sold for $300,000 need to be realistically priced at $600,000+ instead of putting the City into debt for $34,000,000 that may not be recovered for 30 years or more into the future. Let the developers issue private bonds to cover the expense, and let THEM be reimbursed as tap fees are paid.

Thank God the taxpayers cared enough to put this to a vote. This would be the biggest financial scandal since the airport terminal and the so-called "justice center," but at more than twice the cost to the taxpayers in the long run.

The lesson here for all Steamboat and Routt County taxpayers is never to trust pitch men. If they really had charitable purposes in mind, they'd be giving away their money instead of developing subdivisions. I love free enterprise and making money in business, but I also believe people have to be honest in the process. Hiding facts and figures in order to induce someone to enter into a contract is called . . . . (fill in the blank).

So, hiding the true cost of "affordable housing" to make a personal profit at the expense of everybody else in town is not a practice to be admired, to put it mildly.

"Kaminski" is not one of the names that made me suspicious, so don't take this personally. Having been on the receiving end of some insensitive treatment from some of the people involved in SB700 in the past, my warning sirens went off immediately. The truths revealed to me years ago are apparently still true today, so folks -- read the small print next time. We just had a real close call.

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Curtis Church 4 years, 11 months ago

Part of the issue with the water is creating redundancy in our water supply. That $34 million dollars does not go away if the annexation is not passed. Instead, the residents are burdened even further because there is no developer, or more residents to defray the cost of the new infrastructure necessary.

As for the affordable part, the agreement states that the City will be given acreage and revenue source to address the affordable housing issue, which I hope includes affordable rentals. The developer loses the ability to make a profit on that land, taking the cost of the land out of the equation and subsidizing the cost of construction by giving a revenue stream to pay for it.

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