Steamboat City Council to revisit sales contract for downtown building | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat City Council to revisit sales contract for downtown building

— Before it adjourns Tuesday night, the Steamboat Springs City Council could receive a pay raise, endorse a plan to add Steamboat’s downtown historic district to the National Register of Historic Places and modify the sales contract for the city’s downtown emergency services building.

Early in their meeting that starts at 5 p.m. in Centennial Hall, the council members will discuss potential changes to the proposed sales contract of 840 Yampa St. to BAP, Big Agnes and Honey Stinger for $2.1 million.

By a 5-2 vote last month and after more than an hour of public comment, the council approved the first reading of the sale.

But some members said that before they weigh a second and final reading Jan. 22, they want a chance to strengthen or modify some of the claw-back provisions city officials added to the contract to protect their sale and ensure the buyers remain in the building.

In addition to allowing the police and fire departments to temporarily remain in the building after the sale, the claw-back provisions aim to prevent the buyers from selling the building’s parking lot parcels without city approval for seven years.

During that time period, the outdoor retailers also must occupy at least half of the building, or sell it back to the city for the sale price.

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Council member Cari Hermacinski, who opposed the sale of the building with council member Walter Magill, said at a meeting last month that she wasn’t satisfied with the claw back provisions.

She said if BAP, Big Agnes and Honey Stinger don’t occupy half of the building as required, the city may not be able to afford to buy back the building at the sale price.

Council member Sonja Macys also wanted to see the contract amended, but in a different way. She said the contract should be changed to make the sale contingent upon determining the new permanent location for the firefighters and police who work in the current downtown headquarters.

Macys and the other four council members who voted to approve the first reading of the sale said they were comfortable with the sale price and other major components of the contract.

City officials hope the council will be able to choose a plan to build new police and fire stations before it is scheduled to vote later this month on the final reading of the current emergency headquarters.

Other meeting highlights

• Pay raises

According to Tuesday night’s agenda packet, council’s pay rate can be increased each January based on "the percentage increase in the Denver Boulder Consumer Price Index for the twelve-month period most recently computed by the U.S. Department of Labor."

Council voted to forgo increases during the past three years, and instead has taken a 10 percent pay cut each year since 2009. Their pay cut again was approved last year when council voted on the city’s 2013 budget.

The proposed pay increase is 10.4 percent, or a total of $6,300.

• Historic designation

Council could vote to support a resolution recommending that the Steamboat Springs Downtown Historic District be included in the National Register of Historic places. According to Tuesday’s agenda, the process to define a downtown historic district started in 2005 at the request of Mainstreet Steamboat Springs. Downtown historic district includes Lincoln Avenue "roughly bounded by 5th Street to 11th Streets," according to the agenda.

Planning Director Tyler Gibbs wrote that there are "great benefits associated with designation and (the) listing is honorary with no restrictions for properties."

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

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