Diane Franklin: Bury the lines


— Randy Hays’ letter to the editor (“Love this town”) published Dec. 30 would have made me laugh if it didn’t make me so angry at the city of Steamboat Springs regarding utility poles in Old Town. Obviously Mr. Hays was not looking around in Old Town, and obviously, the forward-thinking people forgot to bury the utilities in a major part of Steamboat.

In 1992, I was first promised that the utility lines and poles in downtown Steamboat would be buried soon. I proceeded to invest a million dollars building a home and being assured that the ugly utility pole and lines running across the front of this home would be buried soon. Years went by. I would check and ask when the poles and lines would be buried. Soon, I was told. I sold that home and began a major remodel of a second one, again investing a great deal of money. There was a utility pole in the middle of the lot in the alley. I had to enter my garage from the alley, a city requirement. The lot is only 25 feet wide, so I found that I needed to have the pole moved, and I buried the lines and put in conduits for future lines to be buried. I struggled with Yampa Valley Electric Association, Qwest and Comcast all summer getting their stuff buried. The cost to me was $10,000. Several times I asked when would the utility lines be buried and poles removed? I was told that they had a plan and were budgeted to do a street or alley every year and they would begin with the alley between Lincoln and Yampa because of all the new construction along that alley. Then every year from that year, 2007, another street or alley would be done.

My property is on Pine Street and backs up to the alley between Pine and Oak. While talking to the city it was determined that, as per their schedule, it would be four to five years and they would get to the alley between Oak and Pine. I was OK with that; they had a plan.

To date, the only work that has been done is burying the lines in the alley between Yampa and Lincoln. I see red whenever I see the city spending money on any folly, park, project or amenity that comes along instead of really doing something to improve the downtown area. There is a group trying to do something to make improvements to downtown Steamboat. The single biggest improvement that could be made is to bury the utility lines and remove the ugly poles.

Mr. Hays was right about that. I have been very patient and have not said anything about this issue. When I saw Mr. Hays’ comments I could not continue without saying or doing something.

I have talked to many who feel the same as I do. It is long overdue for the city of Steamboat Springs to do what should have been done years ago and what they assured me would be done.

Diane Franklin

Steamboat Springs


greenwash 7 years, 2 months ago

Ahhhh the beautiful alley betweeen 4/5 Pine / Oak such a glorious alley.

Isnt that the one behind the beautiful Taj Majol and Big converted Apartment party house?

A million dollers........Hmmm sounds like a realtor too me.


TWill 7 years, 2 months ago

You invested a MILLION dollars in 1992 for a house on the alley of Pine and Oak? Don't blame the city for questionable finance decisions with a track record like that!


Steve Lewis 7 years, 2 months ago

Diane, You want the City to upgrade the alley side of your investment.

Would you please consider upgrading the front end your investment? I live across the street at 410 Pine and find it bizarre to be looking at a house "front" which is so obviously designed as the home's rear end. A sliding glass door as the front door?

It appears you designed the very problem you face today. Rather than connecting with us, your neighborhood on a very nice street, you chose to connect with your alley (and thus your car) for a hidden existance. Please upgrade your relationship with your neigborhood by offering us a front door and a possibility of hello from the next owners of your spec house.


Scott Wedel 7 years, 2 months ago

It appears that all she is requesting is that the City does what it has promised to do. There appears to be no dispute that the City has made that promise and stills plans at some point to do it. There also seems to be consensus that buried lines look much better. She is not asking that her property be done first, just that the City actually do something about keeping the promises they have made and say they will keep.

By Steve Lewis's logic, if someone doesn't like the appearance of a house then apparently power lines in the neighborhood suddenly look good and should not be buried.

And the last time I checked, there is nothing wrong with a neighbor walking up to and knocking on a sliding glass.


blue_spruce 7 years, 2 months ago

from the sound of things, i'm sure glad i don't live in that neighborhood!

but seriously, all of this sounds funny when we have high tension power lines cutting straight through steamboat springs. lets bury those freakin' things!! i'm sure it can't be too healthy living under / near that crazy eyesore!


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.