City asked to improve landscaping of road | SteamboatToday.com
Christine Metz

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City asked to improve landscaping of road

City of Steamboat Springs officials said they are working to improve landscaping along Mount Werner Road after receiving complaints about the lack of upkeep in the area.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, President of Steamboat Ski Area Chris Diamond and Sheraton Steamboat Resort General Manager Chuck Porter complained about the dire appearance of Mount Werner Road.

Diamond talked about the weeds that were in the road medians, hay bales left along the side of the road from past construction sites and skewered street signs.

“It was an embarrassment to me,” Diamond said about Mount Werner Road before the July 4 weekend, the condition of which he compared to a Third World country.

“I am not a squeaky wheel by nature, but this is my seventh summer in Steamboat Springs; we have got to make progress,” he said.

Porter asked the city to spend more money to make the area look nice.

“We all think it deserves a higher level of care,” he said.

Diamond acknowledged that weed whackers were used on the medians after he contacted the city about the problem this week, but more is needed, he said.

On Thursday, City Manager Paul Hughes said he had worked with City Director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Chris Wilson to put together a list of improvements for the area.

To make all those improvements would be outside the scope of what the city could do, Hughes said. The city will put out a bid for the work and then bring that number back to the council and ask it to allocate money for the improvements, Hughes said.

“What I asked Chris to do was to come up with a scope of work that would be required to do everything Mr. Diamond and Mr. Porter asked for. What they asked for is beyond our ability to do in-house,” he said.

Right now, some of the medians on Mount Werner Road do not have water in place, and the vegetation that is there survives on natural rainfall. To have the medians looking like those near Third Street, with green grass and trees, would require an irrigation system, Hughes said.

“To do that would require a lot of water and a lot of maintenance,” Hughes said.

He said the city would look at landscaping that is post-drought friendly and that if officials couldn’t find vegetation that works, they would look at decorative pavement.

Some of the complaints the men made were beyond the city’s right of way and not in its control, Hughes said.

“I don’t disagree that our mountain base area and entrance into it should look as good as possible,” Hughes said. “It is a matter of what we are able to spend and when we are able to spend it.”

Hughes said that the city eventually could use money from the urban renewal authority to do capital projects to the streetscape in the area. For ongoing maintenance, a special improvement district would need to be formed.

“We will get there,” Hughes said. “But, it may not be something we are able to do in the short term.”

— To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com