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Scott Franz

Stories by Scott

Grant from EPA will help Steamboat Springs develop green strategies

Steamboat is one of 22 communities around the nation that has earned a grant from the EPA this year to help advance its environmental sustainability efforts.

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River ranger and fees among the ideas floated to improve stewardship of Yampa River

River users in Steamboat Springs are brainstorming ways to limit the negative impacts from all the summer fun on the Yampa River.

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Flotation therapy coming to Steamboat Springs

Valerie McCarthy and Brian Savoie are introducing a new spa treatment to Steamboat Springs that involves getting into a futuristic looking flotation tank filled with 10 inches of water and more than 800 pounds of Epsom salts.

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Citizens committee could greatly impact police station project in Steamboat

After failing to get any consensus on the best place to build the station Jan. 7, the council last week voted unanimously to soon discuss the possible formation of a citizens committee to help plan for the new public safety facility.

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Parks and rec commission to discuss Yampa River Management Plan

The commission also will learn that 13 commercial river outfitters sent 14,791 tubers, 529 anglers, 419 kayakers, 815 stand-up paddle boarders and 802 rafters and canoeists to the town stretch of the Yampa River during the most recent summer season.

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City of Steamboat finalizes purchase of Yampa Street property

The sale of 603 Yampa St., also known as the Workman property, closed Jan. 16 for $610,000. It was purchased from Leland and Linda Workman with the lodging tax revenue that voters dedicated to Yampa Street improvements.

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Plane crash survivor doing 'amazingly well' at Denver hospital

After Darling's plane crashed Sunday morning south of Rabbit Ears Pass, Darling climbed out of the wreckage of his mangled Cessna and lit a pool of spilled fuel to stay warm until rescuers reached him in a remote part of the woods.

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Beer leftovers are a treat for pigs and cows in Routt County

There's a good chance the next piece of pork you eat at Creekside Cafe owes some of its good taste to the spent grains the pig ate from a local brewery in Steamboat Springs.

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As rental market tightens, Steamboat's defunct hotels become affordable workforce housing

The Sheraton Steamboat Resort found housing for dozens of its seasonal workers by leasing out 23 rooms in the city's defunct Iron Horse Inn close to downtown. In a similar arrangement, Resort Group secured housing by leasing out the empty Alpiner Lodge on Lincoln Avenue.

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Hometown astronaut Steve Swanson to share space stories Sunday night in Steamboat

It won't be a trip to the International Space Station, but it will be as close to one as you can get right now here on Earth.

Downtown URA plan gets strong support from local business community

The Steamboat Springs City Council made it clear Tuesday night that it wants to soon invest in some major improvements like sidewalks and lighting in downtown Steamboat.

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Free Summer Concert Series funding cut doesn't sit well with some City Council members

Although the cut was "disappointing," a majority of the council agreed it should respect the city's grant vetting process that led to the reduced funding and not invest any more city dollars in the series of concerts this year.

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Steamboat City Council backs city manager after two members seek her resignation

Council members Scott Ford and Sonja Macys made it clear they want the council to consider starting a search for a new city manager.

Alaskan tourism companies will be in Steamboat Friday to recruit summer bus drivers

A recruiter from Holland America Line and Princess Cruises will be at Stock Bridge Transit Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday seeking drivers who want to spend their summer in Alaska or the Yukon.

Affordable housing, URA proposal headline Steamboat Springs City Council agenda

The council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Citizens Hall. Public comment is accepted on each agenda item. General public comment on items not on the agenda is accepted at 7 p.m. or at the end of the meeting, whichever comes first

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Steamboat City Council appears ready to ask public for help with police station planning

Based on recent comments from council members, a public vote on the station appears to be unlikely, but there are several members who are open to the idea of forming a citizens committee to recommend building sites.

Steamboat City Council member pushes for more transparency after city's hiring of his relative stirs controversy

Tony Connell is now proposing that the council consider using a new written conflict of interest disclosure form to be more transparent and avoid similar situations and controversies in the future.

URA plan goes back to Steamboat City Council on Tuesday night

The council last discussed the potential TIF and urban renewal authority in September, and many council members were either opposed to it or needed more information before making a decision.

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New shuttle coming to west Steamboat Springs to improve bus service

The shuttle is the city's response to some fierce criticism from bus riders on the west end of town who have endured long wait times and delays because of the recent cuts to the daytime winter bus schedule.

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Mainstreet Steamboat Springs plans for big changes in 2015

The downtown advocacy organization charted out its plans for the year ahead during a well-attended annual meeting on Thursday at Aurum Food & Wine.

Steamboat Parks and Rec Commission continues to learn about rec districts, but gets little public comment

At the end of the meeting, several commissioners said they want their exploration of alternative funding sources to evolve into a broader regional conversation.

City of Steamboat Springs poised to end 2014 with surpluses in sales and lodging tax revenue

The city is on track to collect at least $1.5 million more in sales tax and $150,000 more in lodging tax than it budgeted to spend in 2014.

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Steamboat Parks and Rec Commission continues to explore alternative funding sources

The commission will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Citizens Hall to hear more about parks and recreation districts that typically leverage a property tax to operate and fund capital improvements.

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Scott Franz: What I learned by riding the bus

With many Steamboat Springs residents now complaining about the pared-down winter bus schedule, I decided it was time for me to hop aboard a bus Friday morning and take a few laps around the city to talk to riders about how the cuts were impacting them.

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Community members reflect on 10th anniversary of fatal air ambulance crash

A decade after he was seriously injured in a Yampa Valley Air Ambulance crash that killed three of his colleagues, Tim Baldwin still loves working in the field of emergency medicine.

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City of Steamboat Springs 'scrambling' to improve bus system

Public Works Director Chuck Anderson said the efforts include trying to secure smaller vans or shuttles to help provide more prompt service, especially on the west end of town, and possibly shifting the responsibility of cleaning the buses away from drivers to a contracted service.

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City of Steamboat will entertain redevelopment and purchase proposals for Iron Horse Inn

The Steamboat Springs City Council also wants to hear from potential partners who may be interested in managing the property.

Steamboat City Council considers enrollment in national certification program for sustainability efforts

Dozens of communities around the country are using the STAR Community Rating System to measure how sustainable they are and to set sustainability-related goals.

Steamboat City Council approves police station design, but leaves meeting no closer to building site

In one of the longest and liveliest meetings in recent council history, the council continued show it was divided over how quickly the city should move forward with acquiring a piece of property on which to build the station.

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Several Steamboat City Council members uncomfortable with city's decision to hire councilman's close relative to vet police station sites

The council's discomfort came after the realization that council member Tony Connell's brother-in-law was paid by the city to investigate a building site on U.S. Highway 40 just south of the Hampton Inn that Connell himself has a financial investment in.

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Fallout from bus service cuts continues in Steamboat Springs

"I think we have a serious problem here in the community," council member Kenny Reisman said after the council once again heard from a group of residents who have been negatively impacted by the bus cuts.

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YVEA starts to re-energize vacant TIC campus

The local electric cooperative recently finished moving its 40 Steamboat employees anfleet of vehicles into its new headquarters at Elk River Road and U.S. Highway 40.

Live updates from tonight's Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

City reporter Scott Franz is live blogging tonight's city council meeting. Check in for updates on police station talks, trash rules and the future of the Iron Horse Inn.

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Routt County residents rally to support 7 Royal Hotel residents displaced by fire in Yampa

In the hotel just across the street from the smoldering remains of one of Yampa's most historic gathering places, Julie Williams' phone kept ringing and ringing.

Broken water pipe temporarily puts popular downtown sushi restaurant out of business

Minutes after the pipe burst and water started raining down at a devastating rate of 17 gallons a second on Friday night, the community sprung into action to help save the flooded sushi restaurant on Yampa Street.

New police station, bear-proof trash rules and Iron Horse Inn headline big Steamboat Springs City Council agenda

On the same evening, the council will discuss the future of a hotel that has become a financial burden for the city, discuss the conceptual design and possible building locations for a new police station and decide whether or not Steamboat residents should all have to use bear-proof trash containers outdoors.

Hayden man taken to hospital for evaluation after his burglary-in-progress report is unsubstantiated

The man called police around 9:30 a.m. to report someone was in the bottom story of his home robbing him.

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2014 Year in Review: Top news stories

From problem bears poaching food from trash cans and sneaking into condominium hot tubs to Steamboat’s first foray into recreational pot sales, 2014 was a year to remember.

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From bus service cuts to a new police station, take a look back at the Steamboat City Council's biggest decisions of 2014

The council's approval of significant cuts to the city's bus system could be remembered as its most impactful decision of 2014.

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Future of Iron Horse Inn back on Steamboat City Council's agenda

City staff Tuesday will look to the council to weigh in on the future of the hotel that sat vacant for two years before it was rented out to the Sheraton for $18,000 per month as workforce housing in a tight rental market.

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Extra buses will run in Steamboat Springs tonight to get revelers home safe

The last bus heading from downtown to the mountain area will depart at 2:24 a.m from Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue.

Food cart operators in Steamboat Springs applaud relaxed rules, but some still want changes

Despite interest from some local food truck operators to set up shop on public property in Steamboat, city officials recently told the Steamboat Springs City Council they currently have no plans to pursue any rule changes at this time to broaden where the trucks and carts can operate.

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Trash haulers preparing for new era of bear-proof trash containers in Steamboat Springs

Regardless of their trash collector, customers who use a rolling trash container to take trash to the curb could pay anywhere from $200 to $350 for a new wildlife-resistant model, depending on the size.

CDOT seeks public input on statewide transportation plan

The Statewide Transit Plan aims to prioritize transportation funding in a state where the cost of transportation needs through 2040 is projected to exceed available funding by $23.3 billion.

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The recruiting line: Some Western Slope transit agencies using pay raises, incentives to help recruit drivers

Bus services across the Western Slope race each year to get enough drivers to carry millions of passengers. This year though, some transit agencies are finding the annual recruiting effort especially difficult. As the economy improves, skilled workers have more options than driving a bus including higher paying jobs in industries like construction and oil and gas. Here’s a look at how bus services in resort areas like Steamboat Springs are facing the challenge this year.

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The recruiting line: Transit agencies on Western Slope struggle to hire seasonal bus drivers

As the economy revs up, transportation agencies in mountain resort communities once again are struggling to find enough drivers to run their winter service. Some agencies in ski towns are raising their pay and benefits to entice more drivers, while others like Steamboat are cutting back service and leaving some riders fuming.

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New economic forecast predicts big job growth for Colorado

The assessment led by economist Richard Wobbekind concludes that in terms of job growth, 2013, 2014 and 2015 will "be the three best years for the state since the start of the century."

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New parking enforcement technology tested in Steamboat's downtown business district

"It was actually very encouraging," Public Works Director Chuck Anderson told the Steamboat Springs City Council about his test drive with license plate reading technology that would aim to improve parking enforcement downtown and turn over more spaces for people who want to shop and eat there.

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CDOT makes significant changes to Pine Grove Road intersection to make it safer

By changing the light configuration and geometry of the intersection of Pine Grove Road and U.S. Highway 40, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the city of Steamboat Springs are aiming to prevent tragedies like the death of Robert "Bob" Bear.

Steamboat City Council approves 1st reading of stricter trash rules to prevent wildlife conflicts

City officials, local trash haulers and representatives from Colorado Parks and Wildlife think the new rules will go a long way to help prevent encounters and problems with black bears.

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