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Scott Franz

Stories by Scott

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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: 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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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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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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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.