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Scott Franz

Stories by Scott

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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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Steamboat City Council gets an earful about recent cuts to winter bus service

Critics of the new service got the attention of the City Council, which broke its norm of not responding to public comment by asking its city manager what was going to be done about it.

Live updates from the Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

City reporter Scott Franz will provide live news updates from tonight's Steamboat Springs CIty Council meeting. A strengthening of the city's trash rules to prevent problems with wildlife headlines the agenda.

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Tougher trash ordinance from city would require more Steamboat residents to buy wildlife-proof containers

The city's proposed ordinance would require all residents to use an approved wildlife-resistant trash container outdoors regardless of what time they put out their trash to be collected.

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Yampa Valley Medical Center withdraws from police station real estate talks

The hospital's decision leaves the city without one of the Steamboat Springs City Council's top three potential building sites for the station and will delay the council's consideration of building locations until at least January.

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New map lets you track Steamboat Springs Transit buses in real time

The service provided from RouteMatch also allows bus riders to use their computers and smartphones and an app called RouteShout to find the bus stops closest to them and see when buses are set to arrive.

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Routt County Humane Society poised to take over control of Steamboat's animal shelter in May

Under the new arrangement, the Humane Society plans to expand services like behavioral training for animals, add new staff and stay open the additional hours.

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After dog is shocked, city of Steamboat pulls plug on downtown holiday tree lights

The danger of the lighting system was on display recently when a dog was shocked by a metal grate below one of the trees due to the current from the tree lights.

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Butcherknife Brewing Co. expanding to more taps in Routt County and beyond

From the base of Hahn's Peak to the bars in the neighborhood of Coors Field in Denver, more and more people in Colorado are now able to grab a cold pint of Butcherknife beer and learn about an up and coming brewery in Steamboat Springs.

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CDOT plans to normalize traffic through Twin Tunnels on I-70 next week

Kathy Connell, who represents Northwest Colorado on the state highway commission, hailed the tunnel improvements as a huge accomplishment that will make the trip on the interstate safer and smoother.

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Rocky Mountain Day Spa finishing up expansion project

Spa owners John and Seana Cardillo say the project will bring more retail offerings to the space and benefit spa guests including couples and members of bridal parties.

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Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss police station design and building location next week

City Manager Deb Hinsvark said Monday the station size has been reduced from a proposed 18,000-square-foot building to one that is about 15,000 square feet.

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Wild Plum brings new food, wine and energy to base area

Wild Plum is the revamp of The Market on the Mountain, which closed in the spring after operating across the street in the Village Shopping Center for nearly 40 years.

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New terrain opening this weekend at Steamboat Ski Area

The ski area on Saturday is opening the Sundown and Elkhead lifts on Saturday, providing access to a number of new trails on Sunshine Peak.

Steamboat's streak of sales tax gains continues

Collections in October were up 10.8 percent, or $12,270, over the same month last year.

City of Steamboat planning to launch new community survey in 2015

City staff on Tuesday night got the green light from City Council to form a steering committee that will help determine what kinds of data the survey should aim to get and what questions should be asked.

Steamboat Springs City Council barely approves city manager's list of 2015 goals

The council voted 4-3 to approve the goals that range from installing a new electric vehicle charging station in the city to a possible overhaul of the city's pay plan next year.

Founders of new food delivery business in Steamboat Springs were involved in travel company scam

Investigators with the Colorado Attorney General's office were very intrigued this week when they learned about Andy and Bethany Wunder's new restaurant and alcohol delivery business in Steamboat Springs.

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Proposed base area improvements include safer intersections, more sandy beaches

All of the proposals would be funded from the tax increment financing that has been in use now for several years in the urban renewal area at the base of the ski area.

Steamboat Springs city manager proposes goals for 2015

The launch of a new electric vehicle charging station in the city and the adoption of a new pay plan for city employees are some of the projects City Manager Deb Hinsvark is proposing to accomplish in 2015.

Unique exercise device takes top prize in local business plan competition

Elk River Valley residents Jim and Jo Lauter have created an exercise device that allows anyone to mimic the sport of horseback riding from the comfort of their living room.

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New restaurant and bar opening this winter in iconic Tugboat building

When music and beer return to the iconic restaurant building near the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, the new establishment will fittingly be known as The Wreck.

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New restaurant and alcohol delivery service up and running in Steamboat Springs

From an exhausted skier to a family that doesn't want to pack into a car on a snowy night to that man who doesn't want to make the trip to the grocery store, Wunder can think of a number of different people who will use her new delivery business.

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Tight rental market, limited labor force are challenging employers in Steamboat Springs

As thousands of visitors prepare to take their winter vacations here, some employers are scrambling to find the employees that will keep the city's restaurants, hotels and small businesses humming.

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Jensen steps down as Intrawest CEO

Intrawest CEO Bill Jensen replaced by Thomas Marano.

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Parking time limit extended in lot at Eighth and Oak streets

The change could be useful for some long term-downtown parkers especially when the city rolls out new license plate reading technology to improve parking enforcement or if parking meters are installed downtown.

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Steamboat Springs Transit releases new winter schedule, prepares to launch GPS tracking system

The launch of the new daytime winter schedule on Dec. 7 will coincide with the launch of a new GPS tracking service that will allow riders to use their smartphones to track buses in real time and see exactly when a bus is due to arrive at any of the bus stops in the city.

City of Steamboat's ice arena and recreation managers resign

Susan Petersen, the city's longtime recreation manager, recently resigned to take another career opportunity here in Steamboat. Mike Albrecht, who has supervised the Howlesen Ice Arena for the last six years, also is leaving his post.

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Steamboat Springs City Council debates how involved police chief should be in police station planning

Some members felt public safety director Joel Rae's leadership role in the project is appropriate given his many years of experience with the police department. But other members felt it wouldn't be appropriate for Rae to continue being a point person on the station planning because they felt the proposal is controversial and Rae's involvement could end up damaging his reputation.

Steamboat City Council asked to consider changing pot rules to allow hash oil production company

Magill told his fellow council members that a prospective operator of such a business approached him and said he or she would look to possibly start the company in Oak Creek if the rules here weren't changed.

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Lodging tax revenue used to install enhanced pedestrian crossings, make Lower Spring Creek Trail safer

A trio of enhanced pedestrian crossings and a safer Lower Spring Creek Trail in Steamboat Springs are the first signs that hundreds of thousands of lodging tax dollars are starting to be being spent to improve local trail systems.

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Steamboat Springs seeing lowest November gas prices since 2010

It will cost local farmer Mike Arroyo significantly less this holiday season to gas up his Ford F250 Super Duty pickup and make the regular 192-mile drive to Grand Junction to visit his daughter.

Local finding it hard to park Greek food wagon at base of Steamboat Ski Area

Cynthia Pougiales' quest to park her new Greek food wagon at the base of Mount Werner has been so difficult in recent weeks, she and her friends have pondered the idea of instead having two donkeys pull the wagon around to make mobile sales.

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New business helps visitors get a healthier high in Steamboat Springs

Local entrepreneur Drew Koehler is hoping to tap into the state's lucrative recreational marijuana industry with his new vaporizer rental business. Koehler's sales pitch is that vaporizers are healthier to use than smoking marijuana. They also are more discreet.

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Steamboat Parks and Recreation Commission tables Howelsen Hill master plan until January

Commissioners liked a lot of what they saw in the draft plan for Howelsen Hill, including the recommendation for a new indoor recreation center and a renovation of Howelsen Hill Lodge. But several commissioners kept wondering aloud how such a big price tag would ever be funded.

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Steamboat City Council moves forward with bus service cuts despite some objections from locals

The council heard from some community members who said the longer wait times in the west end of town and the elimination of the on call yellow line from the daytime winter service would make travel a lot more difficult for them.

Intrawest reports boost in sales of season ski passes

The parent company of Steamboat Ski Area announced Monday that its sales of season passes and frequency products for the upcoming ski season were up about 14 percent in volume and 20 percent in sales dollars through Nov. 2 compared to last year.

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Steamboat Springs City Council thinks its partnership with city manager needs improvement

City Manager Deb Hinsvark said she was up to the challenge of improving her partnership with the council that recently gave her a mixed performance review.

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Howelsen Hill master plan draft recommends new indoor rec center, 2nd sheet of ice

If adopted, the draft plan could end up serving as a guiding document for the city's most historic and diverse park for several years.

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Letters from home meant the world to U.S. Air Force airman from Steamboat Springs during rigorous basic training in Texas

In an age dominated by text messages, Facebook and email, a local mother found creative ways to handwrite letters and notes to her son almost every day he was in basic training. Heald then was inspired to start making inspirational cards for other military families. They are available at some local retailers including Lyon Drug.

Steamboat City Council to continue city manager review, consider adopting budget on Tuesday

The Steamboat Springs City Council Tuesday night will consider the second and final reading of the budget that would make significant changes to the city's free winter bus service, add more manpower to the city's personnel ranks and grant city employees $200,000 worth of pay raises.

Man tells police he believes someone shot at his vehicle while he was driving on Hilltop Parkway

The Steamboat Springs Police Department is investigating whether a BB or pellet gun was used to shatter a rear window of a vehicle that was being driven Sunday afternoon on Hilltop Parkway.

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Chamber still working to grow number of summer visitors recommending Steamboat to their friends

Events were busier. Sales tax collections reached historic levels. But there's still one big summer data point that still isn't going the direction city officials and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association want it to.

Campaign spending was lopsided in most Routt County races heading into Election Day

The latest campaign finance reports filed by Routt County candidates reveal the biggest spenders heading into Election Day claimed victory in every race. But in the case of the Routt County Commissioner's race, the vote gap was a lot closer than the spending gap.

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Enhanced pedestrian crossing signals going up in Steamboat Springs

The new crossing signals soon will be installed at U.S. Highway 40 and Dream Island Plaza, Amethyst Drive and East Maple Street, East Maple and McKinley streets, Mount Werner Drive and the Yampa River Core Trail, Mount Werner Circle and Burgess Creek Road and at the crossing from the Knoll Parking Lot to the Gondola Transit Center.

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Failure of tax poised to impact future of downtown Steamboat infrastructure improvements

Without that maintenance money secured, some Steamboat Springs City Council members are suggesting they won't go forward with the improvements under a URA without some other maintenance agreement in place.

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Downtown Steamboat Springs stakeholders narrowly reject proposal to fund BID with property tax

The defeat of the tax measure sends downtown business leaders back to the drawing board to try and figure out how to secure more revenue for upkeep and improvements in a downtown area that just two years ago was scrambling to find money to save flower baskets on Lincoln Avenue. It also casts doubt on whether the Steamboat Springs City Council will continue to consider a proposal from the city to use tax increment financing under an urban renewal authority to fund things like sidewalks and pedestrian lighting downtown.

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Steamboat Springs Transit prepares to roll out big changes to winter bus service

Lots of riders are poised to love some of the changes. Others, not so much.

Proponents of downtown tax are optimistic heading into Election Day

Sometime after 7 p.m. Tuesday, everyone will learn whether commercial property owners in the downtown BID will pay an extra property tax worth four mills that could be spent on things like wayfinding signage, trash and recycling collection and parking management.

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