Steve Lewis: Yampa trust broken

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Dear editor,

I do not understand recent articles wherein a committee is deciding how Yampa Street should spend their $900,000 in proceeds from the accommodations tax. I think Yampa Street should do what they told the voters they would do.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Oct. 16, 2013 Election Guide on Referendum 2A: “The $900,000 contribution from the lodging tax would be used to purchase a property at Yampa and Seventh streets to convert into a park. It then would be up to downtown business owners to secure the funding for the remainder of the project.”

The 2A proponents’ advertisement in that same Election Guide: “Your YES vote dedicates the funds to Acquisition of Yampa Riverfront park space.”

These support a 2A description I received from a Yampa Riverpark contact in September: “This allocation of funds is limited and specifically dedicated only for the purchase of the land at 7th and Yampa. This allows us to have land for a bridge over Yampa someday. Maintenance of this simple land area will reside with the owner — the city. Our next efforts include additional efforts to raise funds to create the promenade. This will take time. The landowners along Yampa will pay this maintenance.”

I copied the city of Steamboat Springs and Mainstreet Steamboat Springs on the 2A description above. Both acknowledged it. If the text was not going to be true, why was there no correction?

Trust is a precious commodity. Particularly so, as downtown stakeholders approach a vote to tax themselves in a Business Improvement District.

What you say before a vote should matter after the vote.

Sincerely,

Steve Lewis

Steamboat Springs

Comments

scott bideau 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds like the Yes 2 Air campaign promising a certain number of seats and rebuilding of reserves.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Told you that the election measure was creating boards that were subject to special interest influence and would stray from the promised plans.

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john bailey 2 months, 2 weeks ago

good call Scott, politics as usual.....guess we'll never learn

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Michael Bird 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And to add to the circus, the BID is behind a tax to pay for those improvements which should be paid for by the owners involved. We paid for our imrovements and we are within the BID. It is a sham.Voluntary contributions can pay for all expenses if they truly support the BID's concepts but that would mean taking personal responsibility for one's own property.

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scott bideau 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Solution is to vote "no" to any ballot issue with ambiguity.

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jerry carlton 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Solution is to vote "no" to any issue that raises taxes because any time voters raise taxes the politicians will find a way to spend the money to enrich themselves and their buddies.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This was not a tax increase since the accommodations tax already existed.

Without 2A, the city council had to take responsibility for spending decisions and had to answer to the public for their decisions.

With 2A, appointed boards were created to let special interests control the process and insulate the city council from the responsibility of making decisions on spending the money.

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Steve Lewis 2 months, 2 weeks ago

"Yampa trust broken" is not a label I would choose for my letter above. Yes those owners need to honor their 2A campaign promises. I think they will.

My real disappointment is with staff at the City and the Pilot who should have remembered those same campaign promises. Public trust?

I'm not ready to write off Yampa Street. I owe that to the lady at Mainstreet who has been working her ass off to make downtown better. She preceded me in reminding the City that this $900,000 is promised to a park.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 2 weeks ago

On this Yampa St park, is there an agreement in principle with the property owner to purchase the parcel at a favorable price? If not, then there is no guarantee that there is the money to purchase it. It would be fairly easy for property to appreciate and be worth more than $900K in three years when they finally have $900K to spend.

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Steve Lewis 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't think Yampa Street can say "Oops, we don't have enough to buy it." The math today is no different than it was when the October Election Guide dedicated the $900,000 to buying the park.

From the numbers I've heard they do have to find more $ to buy the park, and the promenade being mentioned would cost 3x more than the park property.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, the obvious problem is that with funds accumulating at $300K a year for 3 years that, at best, it will take 3 years to have enough money to possibly purchase the parcel.

So, apparently, the plan not mentioned to the public yet is to get the City of SB to contribute the money to buy the property so then the rest of the Yampa St improvements can proceed.

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John St Pierre 2 months, 2 weeks ago

this was, is, a public bailout of property owners on Yampa who cannot sell their properties....

A public bailout of improving their street so their properties values increase,,,,

which is why 2A was a double edged sword.. vote no you vote against the trails improvements, vote yes you get some $ for the trails but Yampa street owners got bailed out.

If the city had properly separated the issues on the ballot Yampa would have failed on its own... this was a setup from its inception.

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