The Steamboat Springs City Council recently reviewed its rules for public comments at meetings and decided to stick with its policy of limiting citizens’ input to three minutes at the podium on a given subject. Council members also will continue the practice of listening to the comments but not engaging in a public debate about the stated concerns.
We believe the city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County were justified this month in restructuring the rules for expanding the city’s urban growth boundary. For many years, that boundary has prevented urban sprawl from taking place in the open spaces immediately surrounding the city.
Last week, the Steamboat Today reported on the Routt County commissioners' hesitation to invest in the community solar garden that is being constructed in Craig, and that response by the commission left us a little mystified.
We urged the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Board on July 5 to move swiftly in finding a successor to outgoing Chamber CEO Tom Kern, and that’s just what Chamber President Kerry Shea and his search committee accomplished with the Sept. 12 hiring of Jim Clark.
U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer Nick Walters said he hoped the community was “appalled” by recent partying at Buffalo Pass that caused damage to the popular outdoor destination, and on behalf of local residents, we are. Forest Service officials report that partying on the pass is an ongoing problem, especially during holidays, and we are disturbed by this trend for a number of reasons.
The Steamboat Springs City Council has been busy over the past few weeks, working with staff to review budget requests and prioritize an extensive and expensive list of capital projects. During this process, the council made a pair of decisions that we believe are fiscally smart and make sense.
We remain convinced that the proposed downtown URA in Steamboat Springs represents the community’s best chance in three decades to realize the goal of elevating downtown Yampa Street into one of the most appealing urban spaces of any of the mountain towns. However, we also think the City Council’s decision to call a brief timeout in the process was wise and will give the council the opportunity to continue its due diligence until beyond the November elections.
After hearing Routt County Commissioners Doug Monger and Tim Corrigan express reservations about the latest ranch conservation easement using tax dollars to protect the natural and working landscape of the valley, we think it’s time for a public educational program.
Marijuana businesses in Oak Creek made headlines this past week with the announcement that the town’s Planning Commission would be considering a land-use change that could pave the way for a fourth marijuana-growing operation to open in town followed by another news story about state inspections at two existing marijuana businesses there.
Just this month, Steamboat Springs’ main street was granted honorary status as a National Historic District. We hope local governments, cultural and tourism organizations will work to capitalize on these recent developments to reach travelers who are drawn to our cultural heritage.
We were as surprised as many of you were Tuesday morning to pick up our electronic devices and read the news that the Steamboat Springs School District is already behind the curve in making plans to build a third elementary school.
The large number of photographs of urban bears being shared by the readers of Steamboat Today this summer confirms that the potential for human/bear encounters here is on the rise. But if you want to get a sense of how prevalent garbage bears have become in Steamboat Springs, you need to walk the length of Old Town via its alleyways.
When a trip through town that usually takes 10 minutes turns into a 20- or 30-minute waiting game, it’s easy to understand that tempers will flare. We encourage motorists to plan ahead, give themselves some extra drive time and simply take a deep breath when, inevitably, they find themselves stopped by the flag crew.
Events of Aug. 9 and 11, two of them tragic and a third harrowing, reminded us of how much the greater community relies apon the 30 volunteers with Routt County Search and Rescue.
And while we respect the council’s desire to gather all the information they need before taking action, we believe it’s important they continue to push forward on the project. It’s OK to slow down the process to thoroughly research the TIF and its effects on other taxing entities, but we urge the council to avoid letting the project come to a complete halt.