Steamboat City Council to consider asking for summer ski jump grant

Members to discuss applying for $700,000 in Great Outdoors Colorado funds at Tuesday meeting

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What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

When: 4 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Citizens Meeting Room at Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Agenda: Interviews of candidates to fill the balance of Councilman Jim Engelken’s term are expected to last until 6:30 p.m.

Discussion of a grant application for funding a new summer ski jump at Howelsen Hill is expected to begin between 6:30 and 7 p.m.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council will consider Tuesday whether to commit $250,000 in matching funds to a grant application to Great Outdoors Colorado seeking $700,000 to help install a summer jumping surface on the K38 ski jump at Howelsen Hill.

City Manager Jon Roberts said Friday that GOCo has looked at the project preliminarily and deemed it appropriate.

“Their initial read is that it’s a great project to apply for,” Roberts said.

City grants analyst Winnie DelliQuadri is interacting with GOCo in the process. The budget estimate for the project produced by local engineering firm Civil Design Consultants is $1.5 million.

Roberts and Councilman Ken­­ny Reisman recently traveled to Wash­­ington, D.C., to present the project to Colorado’s congressional delegation. Roberts said they met with U.S. Rep. John Sala­­zar, D-Colo., and Sens. Mark U­­dall and Michael Bennet, also Co­­lo­­rado Democrats.

“They were all very supportive but said we would be looking at next year” for any federal funding request, Roberts said.

Howelsen Hill already has a summer surface on one of its ski jumps. This proposal is for the smaller K38 that would allow younger athletes to get the repetitions that lay the skills platform leading to national and international competitions.

The large majority of the ski jumpers training with the Steam­boat Springs Winter Sports Club on the facilities at Howelsen Hill participate in Nordic combined, which pairs ski jumping with cross-country ski racing.

Four athletes who call Steam­boat home, or who have trained extensively here, won Olympic medals in Nordic combined events in February.

In addition to the GOCo grant, the budget calls for another $200,000 in unspecified grant funds and $350,000 in private contributions.

Summer improvements to the larger K68 jump at Howelsen were completed in July 2006 with about $1.8 million in grants, including $100,000 from GOCo. Another $470,000 in private donations was collected.

Councilman Scott Myller said the $250,000 city match already has been appropriated for improvements at Howelsen Hill. It represents one-third of the un-appropriated funds realized in 2009 when revenues exceeded the budget despite decreasing sales tax income. Roberts said aggressive budget cuts led to the $750,000 in uncommitted funds.

The private contributions called for in the ski jump budget are being pursued by the Howel­sen Hill Centennial Com­­mittee. Jayne Hill, a member of the committee, said it is working quietly to secure major donations before launching a more public campaign.

Hill said the committee’s funding goals go beyond the summer surface for the K38 jump. High on the list, she said, is reinstatement of a small magic carpet ski lift that fell victim several years ago to cuts in the city parks and recreation budget.

The larger magic carpet lift that replaced the carrot lift on the beginner hill for Alpine skiers at Howelsen needs modifications, Hill said. And a new pump is needed to expand the coverage of the snowmaking system installed when the K68 ski jump was modified.

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