Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss Tuesday possible Core Trail extension
November 18, 2013
Steamboat Springs — Cruising south on the Yampa River Core Trail on Monday evening, Tim McClenathan smiled when he learned the path on which he was biking could take him to some new places in the coming years.
"Riding the same old, same old is just getting old," he said. "It would be great if this trail was longer."
A possible extension of the city’s hyper-popular concrete pathway will be one of the discussions at Tuesday night’s Steamboat Springs City Council meeting.
The city has until March to submit an application for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant that could dedicate as much as $1 million toward the project that aims to extend the trail south to Legacy Ranch, a picturesque environmental learning center that is near U.S. Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 131.
The GOCo grants are available for projects that would connect communities to parks and environmental education centers.
"Connecting the Core Trail to the Legacy Ranch was a good fit for this," said Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s grant writer.
In order to complete the grant application, city staff is requesting a lodging tax investment of $50,000 to plan for the extension of the trail by at least 3,850 linear feet.
The grant would require matching funds, likely from the lodging tax that voters just approved spending on local trail projects such as the Core Trail extension.
The city does not currently have a firm cost estimate for the project, but early studies have shown costs could range from $1.7 million for a soft trail extension to $4.4 million for a concrete extension and a bridge.
The prices fluctuate greatly depending on the route and the type of trail surface used.
The Core Trail discussion has a strong connection to the other big topic on Tuesday night’s council agenda.
The council is slated to come up with a framework for the committee that will help oversee the spending of millions of dollars of the city’s lodging tax on trails over the next decade.
"Timing is really critical," Eric Meyer, one of the leading proponents of the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance, told the council last week.
After consulting with the Trails Alliance, the city is recommending a seven-member committee that could include two members of the Trails Alliance, two members of the lodging community, one member from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, one community member and one recreation business member.
Representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the agencies that oversee much of the land where the trails are proposed to be built, have been invited to serve as advisory members of the committee.
At its meeting last week, the council resolved to seat the steering committee quickly so it could help to decide whether the city should pursue the GOCo grant for the Core Trail extension.
Slots on the steering committee are expected to be advertised following Tuesday’s meeting, with interviews coming next month.
A separate committee likely will be formed to help oversee the spending of lodging tax dollars on Yampa Street.
Meanwhile, some of the accommodations tax revenue already is being dedicated to trails on Emerald Mountain.
The tax is projected to net the trails at least $5.1 million throughout the next decade.