Yampa Valley Electric Association purchases commercial parcel on Elk River Road


— Yampa Valley Electric Association has purchased just less than 7 acres of commercial land on Elk River Road.

The land, directly adjacent to a substation and parcel already owned by YVEA, was acquired to secure “options for future growth in the event that” it needs to relocate, according to a news release.

“With constrained property options in the Steamboat area, it’s prudent to ensure that we have reasonable options for relocation in the near future,” Diane Johnson, general manager of YVEA, stated in the release.

The sale price was $640,000, according to YVEA’s Melissa Watson.

In June 2012, YVEA purchased 70 acres of land that once was planned for a subdivision on Steamboat’s west side for $2.025 million in cash.

At the time, previous general manager Larry Covillo said the YVEA board had made hunting for land a priority.

YVEA would like to eventually move its headquarters on Yampa Street and its equipment yard south of Howelsen Hill Ice Arena out of the downtown area.

The parcel that YVEA previously owned on Elk River Road is 13.9 acres, bringing the total area available with the new purchase to about 20.7 acres.

Watson said there are no official plans for the land yet and that no firm decisions have been made as to where the rural electric cooperative someday might move from downtown Steamboat.

Real estate prices are forecast to climb, Watson said, and this purchase was made to keep the utility’s options open.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz


Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

Wow, maybe Yampa Valley Housing Authority should subcontract out property acquisition to the Yampa Valley Electric Association.

Somehow in 2012 YVEA can buy 70 acres of a proposed SB subdivision for slightly than what YVHA paid for 10 acre parcel with 4 usable acres and 6 with a severe slope.

Somehow in 2013 YVEA can buy 6 acres of prime commercial land on Elk River Road for $640K which is less than a third of what YVHA recently agreed as the amortization price for continuing to make payment on their usable 4 acres.

Well, the "somehow" is obviously the difference between competence and incompetence. I was at YVHA's board meeting last Thursday where they were trying to create value from the 6 acres of severe slope And the best idea that they had and had several board members thinking it was a credible idea was to use it for solar!!! As if the sun only shines on severe slopes. As if a solar company would want to work on a 33% slope.

I was tempted to make a joke that they might as well use it for terraced public gardens, but I was afraid they'd take me seriously and I'd have to bear the guilt of them wasting yet more taxpayer money.

YVHA is testing the theoretical limits of stupidity. Can there be anything dumber than continuing to make payments based upon an amortized value of $2M when 50% more usable land just down the street sells for $640K? Well, I suppose YVHA's operation of Fish Creek Mobile Home Park for over 5 years before actually ever caring if tenants aren't paying rent could be as dumb. There is a person there owing over $5,000 in lot rent.


mark hartless 3 years, 5 months ago

YVHA is much more "government-esque" that YVEA, even though they (YVEA) are a government protected monopoly.

Government entities don't have to be competitive and they rarely are, except when it comes to incompetence, waste, fraud, abuse, neglect and disdain for their customers.

Scott, you have my nomination for "bumper-sticker of the year" right here:

"[Government]...testing the theoretical limits of of stupidity...[one vote at a time]"


Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

City doesn't want the police station to be on Yampa St because, according to their theory, a police station is inconsistent with a redeveloped Yampa St.

YVEA is not a government authority. It is a private sector co-operative that is focused on providing at a good price and being a well run electric utility. There is nothing second rate about their maintenance or their operations.

The funniest part is how YVEA is so well run that it is in a far better position to construct affordable housing than YVHA. YVEA bought a 70 acre subdivision and now a prime 6 acre site. I doubt that they will need to use both of those parcels, YVEA is in an excellent position to team with a developer to construct housing aimed at 80% of SB Average Median Income which is a definition of affordable housing. And with 70 acres YVEA is in a position to build 15 times more housing than YVHA with their Elk River parcel with 4 usable acres.


John Fielding 3 years, 5 months ago

The Electric Association building is being considered as a new public safety campus, just not by City staff. After having been told by retired Chief JD Hayes that he very much favored the concept, I took some steps toward feasibility research. I had a conversation with YVEA director Diane Johnson, and she said she would try to meet with Hinsvark. I contacted Robert Ralston, the architect who now has the original plans for the building, and he contacted Ms Johnson. I received communications from others who have made investigations of suitability in the past, including one who has made presentations including some price estimates to the YVEA board and several City Council members.

If this idea has been rejected, the reasons have not been disclosed. I suspect that Scott may be right, that the powers that be just don't want it on Yampa at all. One councilman said as much in the "Pirate" debates last month. But every other candidate present that night expressed support for having the station downtown.

Make your opinion known, especially to the new council members. Tonight would be a really good time for that, during the comment period for the police station budget appropriation.


John St Pierre 3 years, 5 months ago

cannt wait to see the new "sites" list and see who is next to get "bailed out" of property they cannot sell....


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