Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs residents will have, as we all know, an opportunity shortly to ratify or reject the annexation of Steamboat 700.
For almost 20 years, we have been told by state demographers to expect that our city and county populations will increase dramatically by 2025 and beyond. Because of that, the community has been polled and re-polled in search of a strategy to cope with this growth, and from this came the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan. For years, the fiscal requirements were so onerous that no one was willing to develop there.
We now have a partner who is willing and able to partner with the community. Steamboat 700 has demonstrated a commitment to this community by complying with the terms and conditions of WSSAP, and has already committed tens of millions of dollars to back up this commitment.
It is incumbent on all of us to become educated with respect to the terms of the annexation agreement, which protect us, the citizens of Steamboat Springs, so that we can embrace it rather than fear it.
In my 43-plus years here I have seen the population grow almost sevenfold. There was land available to handle that growth. Without Steamboat 700, there will not be land available to handle the expected population doubling in the next 20 to 30 years, and the folks who make up the working class will find it harder and harder to live here. This, of course, will exacerbate the traffic and pollution problems due to commuters, but more important, it will severely damage the “community character” we have all come to cherish.
To me, Steamboat 700 is our last and best hope to save this community character and to allow our children and their children to live and work in Steamboat Springs if they choose to do so.
Take the time and find out the real facts about what the annexation agreement really does to protect all of us. When you do, I think you will agree that Steamboat 700 will be good for all of us.