Loaded agenda awaits Steamboat Springs City Council | SteamboatToday.com

Loaded agenda awaits Steamboat Springs City Council

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to resolve an error in the reporting of the terms of the new Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs concessionaire contract.

The Steamboat Springs City Council has lots on its plate for Tuesday’s meeting. In addition to hearing presentations on the future of Yampa Street and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s 2013 summer marketing campaign, council members will weigh in on the city’s proposal to demolish the Iron Horse Inn and replace it with a police station.

The meeting starts at 5 p.m. in Centennial Hall and leads off with a meeting with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

Future of Yampa Street

Shortly after they receive the Housing Authority’s annual report, council members will hear the findings of a $15,000 study the city commissioned to look at Yampa Street and how it can be revitalized in the future.

Planners with the Urban Land Institute arrived in Steamboat Springs in July to meet with stakeholders about the pedestrian-busy street and to determine how it can be improved.

The planners’ initial ideas for the road ranged from the addition of new river access points, sidewalks and overhead lights fashioned after Denver's Larimer Square to better management of existing downtown parking.

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Mainstreet Steamboat Springs is seeking funding from the city’s 1 percent lodging tax to revitalize the Yampa Street.

Police station at Iron Horse Inn

City officials have abandoned their pursuit of a public safety complex in west Steamboat to house their fire and police stations and instead are pursuing a plan that would demolish the Iron Horse Inn to make way for a 15,000-square-foot police station.

The construction of the police station would be the first step of the city’s plan to move its fire and police stations out of 840 Yampa St., a building Big Agnes has offered to purchase for $2.1 million.

Deputy City Manager Deb Hinsvark estimated last week the demolition of the Iron Horse and the construction of a new police station would cost no more than $7 million.

She said the current proposal is more cost effective than purchasing land in west Steamboat and funding the construction of a public safety campus with a property tax increase.

"We’ve determined the best move forward is to look at moving the police station to the Iron Horse site, and for the time being, do nothing with the fire department," Hinsvark said last week. The Iron Horse site “is a marvelous space because it’s halfway between the mountain and downtown, where a majority of our (emergency) calls come from."

The city purchased the Iron Horse in 2007 for $5 million thinking it would be a smart investment in affordable housing.

Summer marketing

Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Marketing Director Kara Givnish will outline the Chamber’s 2013 summer marketing plan and request that the city invest $725,000 in the campaign, including $100,000 for special event funding and $25,000 for trade show marketing.

According to the presentation the Chamber will give Tuesday night, its highest priorities for the 2013 campaign are to work to produce a 5 percent increase in the pillow count of the lodging barometer, and a 3 percent increase in sales tax collections in the summer months.

Community support funding

Yampa Valley Community Foundation Executive Director Mark Andersen will present the 2013 budget for the three nonprofit coalitions that receive funding from the city.

The Arts and Culture, Environmental, and Human Resources coalitions are together requesting $446,250.

New funding appeals include:

  • -Friends of the Chief’s request for $150,000 over three years for renovations to the downtown theater
  • -A $5,000 request from the Routt County Conservation District to develop the Yampa River Watershed Plan
  • -A $2,500 request from Colorado Student Care, a nonprofit tutoring center for high school students

Tennis center contract

The council will consider rewarding a new three-year contract to Jim Swiggart to continue to operate the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Swiggart’s contract with the city is set to expire at the end of this month.

According to Tuesday’s agenda packet, the city solicited proposals for managers of the tennis center and unanimously recommended renewing the contract with Swiggart.

Among other things, the new contract will not require the concessionaire to pay a concession fee to the city that has averaged $25,000 annually. Instead, the concessionaire will be responsible for all gas and utility costs, which Swiggart estimates to be about $57,500 a year. Swiggart previously was responsible for paying 15 percent of the tennis center’s annual gas and utility bill.

"The new agreement will net the city, on average, $13,000 more than the previous contract," city officials wrote in their proposal to City Council.

Swiggart said the city will net significantly more than $13,000 a year from the new contract because the annual utilities bill to be paid by him will amount to more than double the $25,000 concessionaire fee he used to be required to pay.

LMD budget

Council will consider signing off on the Steamboat Springs Local Marketing District’s 2013 budget.

The LMD, which works with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. to oversee the air service program at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, is requesting that Ski Corp. contribute $1.1 million to the program, Fly Steamboat contribute $100,000, and the LMD to contribute $2.17 million from its taxing sources, which include a 2 percent lodging tax and 0.25 general sales tax recently approved by voters.

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

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