Urban Renewal advisory group to explore financing options

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— Construction of a public promenade could begin this summer at the base of Steamboat Ski Area, after a vote Friday to explore financing options.

The base area Urban Redevelopment Area Advisory Committee - a citizens group driving redevelopment of public facilities at the ski base - was cautiously unanimous in embracing the creation of a team to study financing options for the promenade, which would link several developments on either side of Gondola Square.

The committee gave one of its members, attorney David Nagel, the go-ahead with his plan to convene a diverse group of experts in funding public projects.

"I think what this is, is a think tank," Nagel said. "It will have no power at all, but it's an informational think tank."

Nagel undertook his initiative after realizing March 1 that the group might have to mothball its plans to begin work on the promenade indefinitely because of difficult conditions in the financial world. He received permission to form a subcommittee that might be able to give advice about creative funding solutions to allow a portion of the work to go forward this summer.

"I have been in touch with a lot of people from around the state the last two weeks," Nagel said. We're looking for a way to "keep some continuity so we don't have lost opportunity costs."

Based on informal conversations with excavating contractors, Nagel said, one opportunity this summer might be a 15- to 20-percent reduction in the cost of some of the work.

Among the experts tentatively willing to lend advice, Nagel said, is Alan Matlosz, whose work helping governments and special districts with finance issues includes coordinating planning efforts around Denver International Airport.

Attorney Malcolm Murray, who already advises the Steamboat Urban Renewal Authority, is on board, as is Gene Andrist, a financial advisor and former investment banker who has a long track record of helping public entities with finance issues.

Other members include CPA Ken Marchetti, who helped create a metro district in Vail in the 1980s; Wade Gebhardt, of Wells Fargo Bank in Steamboat; Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts; and URAAC members Jane Blackstone, David Baldinger Jr., and Jon Wade, as well as Nagel.

Joe Kracum, project coordinator for the public base area redevelopment, told the committee that should Nagel's effort meet with success, landscaping the new roundabout at AprÃs Ski Way for an estimated $600,000 also could begin this summer. Another possibility is building a new diversion structure and plaza on Burgess Creek. That work would cost an estimated $1.3 million. Building the promenade's connection to the Ski Time Square bus stop would cost another $800,000.

Options also include funding the completion of construction documents for the promenade and creek design at an estimated cost of $750,000. Taking that step would pave the way for construction of the promenade in 2010.

The committee received some encouraging financial news from city officials, who reported that base area projects could see an additional $137,000 in funding in 2009.

The revenue boost was attributed to a reduction in prevailing interest rates in the municipal bond markets, from the budgeted 5.5 percent to 1.5 percent.

Interim City Finance Director Bob Litzau cautioned the committee that interest rates could rise abruptly, as they did last fall. Bond rates are not indexed but determined by the marketplace and updated weekly, Litzau said.

Comments

ybul 5 years, 5 months ago

If the cities bonds are floating, they should be locked in today. We are at the bottom of the interest rate cycle and if they are not locked in soon, they could explode in the future creating a funding shortfall in the future.

The Chinese are worried about the value of Treasuries and a move to not be in the treasury markets in the future will push rates up.

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Richard Barr 5 years, 5 months ago

$600,000 to landscape a roundabout? Get real and realize that we're in a deep recession. Let's get a little (or lot) frugal finally.

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mavis 5 years, 5 months ago

Sorry Ican't resist- YOu have got to be kidding me- 600K for landscaping a roundabout?? They had better save that money for when we have a "real" winter and they are going to have to haul off the snow 2x a week from their insane roundabouts- whomever designed those sits at a computer and comes up with a great desing with their design system- but really doesn't know what 500inches plus of snow will look like in such a small space being plowed up-

Really people it is time to start letting those that are in the REAL world make these decisions People are loosing their jobs- Many are just hanging on by threads and we are going to spend 600k for flowers on a circle not even big enough for a semi to comfortably drive through. Guess the driver will enjoy the scenery while they are stuck in it-

You all completely deserve a reality check

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Russell Orms 5 years, 5 months ago

Am I nuts or does this article state that landscaping the new roundabout will cost $600,000. ??????

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Russell Orms 5 years, 5 months ago

I assume the writer of this article missed something or the editor did.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 5 months ago

I'll ask my wife and her father if we can landscape the roundabout for $400,000! "Name that tune!"

Whoops! I mean, "Landscape that Roundabout!"

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x3skier 5 years, 5 months ago

$600000 for landscaping?????? Does this involve planting a cash crop add adding irrigation??

That roundabout is getting even more stupid than the original idea.

Maybe they are planning affordable housing in the middle of it.

Cheers

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Kevin Nerney 5 years, 5 months ago

My wife and I just went to Ace at the Curve and bought wildflower mix for $2.49 today. (Buying Local) For 600 K we'll spread some seeds around and promise to stop by everyday with a watering can.

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