Two seven-member steering committees will help to oversee the funding of the Yampa River Promenade and local trail projects.

Photo by Scott Franz

Two seven-member steering committees will help to oversee the funding of the Yampa River Promenade and local trail projects.

Deadline to apply for seat on new lodging tax committees is Friday

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— Routt County residents have until Friday to apply for their chance to help oversee the spending of Steamboat Springs’ lodging tax dollars on trails and the Yampa River Promenade.

And they’ll be asked to hit the ground running.

Eric Meyer, one of the leaders of the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance, told the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night that if he had his way, the committees would get to work the day after they’re interviewed and seated Dec. 17.

“Time is of the essence,” he said.

The council on Tuesday night spent some time figuring out its vision for the two separate steering committees that will be formed.

They agreed that the city will itself become sort of the project manager on the trails and the promenade work done in the city, while the steering committees will be given a budget and asked to prioritize the funding for certain projects.

Council members also were resolved that the city devise certain mechanisms by which the success of the new amenities could be measured.

However, several council members acknowledged it could be impossible to fully determine if the amenities themselves are responsible for increased sales tax revenue and visitor stays.

It ultimately will be up to the City Council to decide what does or doesn’t get funded.

The budget for the two types of projects is projected to be $600,000 next year. That amount will be split evenly between the trails and the promenade as outlined in the ballot that was overwhelmingly approved by voters last month.

The trails steering committee will include one member of the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance, a Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association member, one member of the lodging community and four at-large seats.

The steering committee for the Yampa River Promenade will be identical except that it will include a member of the downtown revitalization committee instead of a person from the Trails Alliance.

The three fixed seats will carry three-year terms and the at-large seats will carry two-year terms.

The city clarified that any resident of Routt County can apply to serve on the committee.

Applications are due to the city by 5 p.m. Friday and can be dropped off at City Hall or emailed to jfranklin@steamboatsprings.net.

Find a copy of the application here.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

Comments

Scott Wedel 10 months, 4 weeks ago

The only thing for me to do on the board would be to suggest the board should be disbanded and then resign. The trouble with the board is that the board already consists of people not in the Trails Alliance or clearly supporters of trails. So there is already pressure to compromise and toss money at projects not part of the voter approved vision of creating trails to attract tourists.

That a very expensive trail to the Legacy Ranch was among the first proposals is an indication of that problem. Seriously, would anyone decide to come to SB because it has a trail to the Legacy Ranch? Of course not, but the Legacy Ranch is a bit of failure based upon how few visit it so adding a trail is desirable for Legacy Ranch supporters.

I think Trails Alliance now has to constantly ask the question if it is beneficial to be part of this board or would they be better off being independent and making their case to the board and then again to the city council.

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Scott Wedel 10 months, 4 weeks ago

This board should be disbanded and the Trails Alliance should be tasked by the city council to come back with their proposals for what trails to build first that will meet the goals of the accommodations tax of attracting visitors to SB.

The fundamental problem of having a board as proposed is that it assumes that the other board members all share the same vision of trails attracting visitors and these people are on the board to improve the quality of the resulting proposal. In reality, there is little such reason to believe such a shared vision exists and instead board members are lobbied as a source of funding for all sort of projects. And does the board seat for the Chamber have greater loyalty to trails or to the Chamber's interests?

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