Jump to content
Without a volume of affordable housing (why DID we turn out backs on Steamboat 700 and, in effect, 360 village?), wages that have to be paid to keep families/workers here can never compete with larger metropolises, no matter how ideal the lifestyle. We've created Aspen and Vail with affordable housing in outlying areas like Hayden and Craig. Most companies (and we) don't want that many workers commuting that far. Then life feels more like suburbia we all left.
Scott and Mavis- First, Scott, it appears you "get it" about the concrete. So my comment was actually directed at Mavis, who does not.
Flowers and Scott-
You can't fairly compare the skate park concrete with Lincoln Ave. concrete being poured...a different mix altogether. U.S. 40 is being paved with 8 1/2" thick highway grade concrete. Apples to oranges.
819-7008 U.S. 40 Proj. Hotline for facts
A few important points some folks above don't really seem to grasp:
1) This project went to the low bidder by CDOT rules, and does not include money for 24/7 work. Scott does work some weekends and nights at its discretion when weather is ideal, but weekly hours cannot generally exceed 45 per week per the bid amount.
2) Closest local contractor who bid was significantly more than Scott Contracting.
3) We knew the old concrete was there and it was never any kind of problem to remove....however, the quality and depth (2-3') of "muck" beneath it is what nobody knew for certain when we started.
4) Muck excavation (the spongy stuff you can't build a road on) is what's going slower because of the wet weather, plus blanketing and un-blanketing the new concrete as we pour it to protect it from snow and rain slows productivity considerably.
5) We're fortunate to be getting this kind of money in our CDOT region, which we couldn't necessarily count on getting if we had delayed. This project was at least two years overdue for resurfacing.
6) Let's remember we are building at the worst time of year for weather and that once it's done it's a long-term fix. Asphalt has to be resurfaced and re-striped just about every year.
I'm certain that this project is causing a lot more pain for merchants and residents already suffering through the toughest economy in decades around here. While it's tempting to try to assign blame, there seem to be an awful lot of "experts" here locally who don't seem to understand the particulars of the project specs or of concrete construction.
I suggest we all hunker down, focus on things we can improve in our own lives, and trust that Scott Contracting will complete this project in a quality manner just as fast as the weather will allow.
The net effect of the bump outs combined with the synchronized signals downtown will be that traffic will flow at at least the same rate through town. You live in a tourist town with significant pedestrian flow through town and need to realize that safety for them is paramount, as well as reducing the number of accidents for motorists parking, buses trying to reenter the roadway and for through traffic just trying to safety get through town on the only route available. It's a balancing act which we feel has been best achieved with this road design.
I live on parcel of land contiguous to the city of Steamboat Springs. I am on city water and sewer, but I'm technically in Routt County. Lucky for me; because, when I built my home five years ago, I paid much less in tap fees to Routt County than I would have had my home been located in the city of Steamboat Springs. So, when the city eventually votes in a property tax (how long can we really survive on a sales tax alone?), they will also get nothing from me. The price I pay for not living in the city? No vote in city council elections, and believe me, I'd love to vote in this one.
So, how does this relate back to Steamboat 700? Simple: if we do not annex that property, multiply my situation by hundreds, if not thousands of new residents. Because eventually someone will buy the land, and parcel it out in some easier fashion, with much less if any affordable/attainable housing. Since it will be outside city limits, what will Steamboat get for its growing pains?
Likely nothing: not a widening of US40 to 4 lanes at no cost to taxpayers, not a new school, fire station, water/sewer treatment facility, parks & rec maintenance facility, not new ballfields, miles of new public trails and parks, maybe nothing public at all. Think Maribou. Make sense?
An annexation vote enables planners and developers to keep visioning for our continued measured, carefully planned economic growth. If the economy eventually recovers, then each part of the development will go through the approval process. If patterns over the last several decades hold, we'll continue to see the values of existing homes in Old Town and the mountain go up, meaning more of us will sell as our property taxes become unaffordable for us as retirees; thus, more of us will be looking for "affordable" or "attainable" housing. Where? I don't want to commute to Stagecoach, Oak Creek, Hayden or Craig. I'd like to sell my home near town for a nice profit to help fund my kids' college, and move to a slightly more affordable smaller home in a close-in community accessible by bus or bike.
Without this annexation, I can count on my taxes eventually being raised to pay for a government-funded widening of US40, another bond measure to pay for what's already a much-needed school on the west end, a police/fire station there, and I still won't have a solution to the bottleneck of traffic at 13th. That's a problem "can" that's been kicked down the road by every council over the last 30 years. Hey folks, it's not a priority for the state (which sees it as a local issue); and, obviously, not for city government, so who's going to pay for the fix? I wouldn't bet on the city or county, who are slashing budgets everywhere they can.
If Jim Engelken had truly been interested in creating affordable housing, he could have led that effort during his last term on the city council (when land was still available within current city limits, and affordably). RALF achieved very little as compared with the current YV Housing Authority, which actually understands that partnering the public and private sectors is critical to successfully building a variety of community housing. Sadly, Jim wants another term, at a time when his no-growth agenda would only bring us ever-closer to being Aspen...a community of the wealthy, with the vast majority of middle class commuting in long distances to work. Our very character is at stake here folks. Tired old approaches won't take us boldly into the future.
You currently have a traffic bottleneck west of 13th street, and no governmental agency has any funds to fix it. You have a private developer agreeing to pay for 20% of the cost, to pay for ALL of the widening to 4 lanes of US40 west of town, as well as to pay for half a new school the west side has needed for years (have you seen how maxed out our present schools all are?), all of a new fire station, a new public works and parks department maintenance facility--worth $140 million all told--that's with NO government dollars. Your local government hasn't had the courage to act to fix these issues via new taxes or general fund expenditures when times were flush, now we have a private partner who isn't even asking for any tax credits, much less city-paid-for water or sewer lines (those are the kinds of things city's who "partner" with developers on affordable housing offer in many other communities). This is a no brainer. Unless you want to see Steamboat go the way of Aspen...which I don't, or I'd have moved there instead of Steamboat 11 years ago. I saw a town of real, working families who cared about eachother, and who didn't think long commutes to neighboring towns were environmentally sound. You've got a for-real partner here to help you protect the community character we so enjoy here. And they're actually asking for nothing from the city (not tax breaks, not free infrastructure, not risk assumption)-only a vote from our city council to approve their annexation.
Don't miss this amazing ensemble of musical talent! 8 p.m. Sat. and 3 p.m. Sunday at the log church on the south end of town...Steamboat Christian Center. Heck, you even get to say you performed with the SSO...if you sing along at the end of the concert!!
Last login: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2013 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.