Steamboat School Board will wait to decide whether new fire station could be built on district land

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— Steamboat Springs School Board members on Monday night said a number of questions need to be answered before they determine whether a piece of land their school district owns west of Steamboat could soon house a new fire station.

The school district recently was approached by Steamboat Public Safety Director Joel Rae about the potential to build the station on part of the 35-acre parcel it owns near the Silver Spur neighborhood.

As part of its effort to relocate its emergency services out of downtown, the city is proposing to construct a new police station and two fire stations, one of which would be west of town.

City officials have not made an offer for the district's land as they also are considering other parcels in the same area near Steamboat II, Heritage Park and Silver Spur.

Before they decide whether they are willing to sell 1 to 2 acres of their 35 acre property to the city, School Board members said Monday night that they want to wait and see whether the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night will commit to relocating their emergency services building out of 840 Yampa St.

The council is set to vote on whether to sell the existing emergency services building and construct new headquarters for the police and firefighters who work inside.

“If things get decided tomorrow night, we'll be back in touch,” School Board President Brian Kelly told Rae at Monday night's meeting.

The board also wants more time to discuss what else could be built on the property in the future.

Board member Robin Crossan said there are several questions that need to be answered before the board should consider any offers for the land.

“We need to have a serious conversation about the whole of the property before we commit to carving out an acre or two for anybody,” Crossan said, adding that the board will need have to have the property assessed and also investigate potential access to the land.

The Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board in 1997 purchased the parcel of land for $360,000 and donated it to the school district.

Kelly said the site originally was bought to someday house new elementary and middle schools for the district.

Today, he said snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and others are enjoying the parcel.

In other action

The School Board approved its district's bid for the city's accommodations tax. The school district is seeking $482,000 of the tax revenue to convert the natural grass field at Steamboat Springs Middle School into a full size artificial turf field.

“The field would benefit community organizations and increase tourism in Steamboat through additional teams for tournaments and camp participants,” district officials wrote in their application for the tax.

The school district is one of several suitors vying for a piece of the $650,000 to $800,000 generated each year by a 1 percent accommodations tax charged to visitors on their nightly lodging rentals.

Applications for the lodging tax are due to the city by Jan. 10.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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