Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 1 month, 1 week ago on Steamboat City Council to consider solar garden proposals Tuesday night

From the earlier County meeting, the county judged the Solar Garden investment will have a payback of about 16 years. The panels lose about 1% generating capacity a year, so it matters that CEC guarantees 80% or better of the original capacity, for the life of the contract. The panels are insured for damage.

This is a better investment for longterm local stakeholders, given that after about "16 years" the panel's electricity is all bonus.

For commercial property, I could not establish how this outlay fits in my taxes. I'd like some depreciation to offset where I previously had electric utility deductions. The 30% rebate requires CEC to "own" the panels for 5 years. Not sure how to treat a new asset I do not own in my tax return.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on George Hresko: Quo vadis?

It would be interesting reporting to explore exactly who moved the police station from a low priority to the top priority.

In my view the police station question and the $$ involved there get overly complicated when mixed with other agendas. Helping Big Agnes, revitalizing Yampa St, resolving the Iron Horse Inn, and now this mixing with a YVRMC venture. When taxpayers see added moving parts, it is easier to doubt the benefits. Personally I feel the economy is still weak, and would not be spending so much of our reserves. This will exacerbate our needs in other areas going forward.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rodger Steen: Cleaner air for Colorado

Great job Rodger. Thanks. Also another thanks to Nancy Stahoviak. She did great work as Routt County, on behalf of domestic water wells around Milner, faced incredible pressure from Quicksilver Resources AND the State of Colorado, in the Spring of 2012.

Good to see the State is now bringing better standards of practice to Colorado.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Potential lies in targeting the 85 percent of air travelers who leave the Yampa Valley to catch a flight

Thank you Routt County for having the airport study done. Great step for better utilizing this critical asset and providing better air service to Routt county residents and businesses.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on George Hresko: Quo vadis?

Good letter George. I thought this was being done?

Future budgets are best viewed as extensions to past budget history. That is how you graph a proper review of our fiscal state. In that budget style, graphs indicate consistency or shifts in policy and policy effects. That is how you can say which city council did good or bad for Steamboat's fiscal health.

Obviously taking different angle snapshots of the budget over time is only marginally useful. We should have a 40 year set of budget data.

The 2004 Tax Policy Advisory Board had smart CFO's from successful large corporations as members. They helped identify the data needed and it was then presented by staff in a very easy to digest array of tables showing the previous decades of budgets. I was a fiscal rookie and the presentation made sense to me. Not sure if the more recent TPAB went where the first one did, data wise. There were certainly different politics affecting the two groups. I would suggest members of those TPABs identify their best data and it be carried forward. Subsequent tax review boards should pick up on those trends, and add their own data interests to the whole to be carried forward.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Rob Douglas: Who’s driving city policy?


The street corner lot now owned by the hospital is not the one carrying community housing fund obligations. That would be the other lot discussed above - a Barn Village lot adjacent to the hospital that was set aside to meet the affordable housing obligation of the Barn Village subdivision.

I was on city planning commission then. If I recall correctly the hospital traded a needed road access easement in the new subdivision in exchange for engaging itself in the subdivision's AH obligation and thus this parcel. I'm guessing the hospital later opted for the payment in lieu option and later still defaulted on its PIL. That must be the foreclosure.

Hard to figure if a foreclosure in this case would be for the parcel or the PIL obligation, or both, but that step seems to be done. Either way you are right - the foreclosure proceeds are community housing fund property, and not part of the city's general fund.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Rob Douglas: Who’s driving city policy?

On a positive note, work sessions like Scott suggests would help the communication with all 7 councilors, which seems to be part of the problem. But work sessions do not resolve problems like councilors learning about real estate negotiations months after they begin.

I agree with the column, but I think Rob is too hard on Hinsvark. A city manager goes where the council majority, or its president speaking on their behalf, wants her to go. The premise that real estate negotiations and other events are resulting from "poor communication" makes no sense to me.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Ross Fasolino: Need new cop station?

The missing sidewalks represent a hazard.

If only the city spent a fraction of the effort on our sidewalks that they have invested in the police station. It is frustrating to see so little city interest and responsibility for such basic and obviously lacking infrastructure. We built our 50 feet of Oak St sidewalk 14 years ago. People still have to walk in the street to get to us because the corner lots have no sidewalk. Something needs to be done.

Lat year I got a quote from one of the bigger contractors on doing large portions of sidewalk. Then I counted the gaps in sidewalk on Oak St. It would take about $350,000 to finish Oak St's sidewalks. (That doesn't get across the two creeks, but neither does it allow for many sidewalks already owed but not built, per past development permits on Oak St.) The city is spending $300,00 just PLANNING for the next police station. Oak St could use a little love too.

Accommodation Tax funds cannot and should not be spent on downtown sidewalks.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 4 weeks ago on What kind of trail project do you think has the highest potential of attracting more tourists to town?

Before the election, the Pilot online poll had 42% in favor of 2A. The actual vote was closer to 70% in favor. Not sure what these online polls amount to. Interesting though, how the poll's options have veered from the 5 trail project areas.

The 2A election guide and coverage for trails matched the ballot text, all saying the trails would be "in and around" Steamboat Springs. That's a lot of latitude. I hope they invest in those 5 project areas. It may even be a multi-year decision process for spending the trails $$ of 2A? In the same 2A election guide and coverage, I think Yampa St committed itself to buying the park property.


Steve Lewis 2 months ago on What kind of trail project do you think has the highest potential of attracting more tourists to town?

I hope the outcome of this process better resembles the promise of the original Trails Proposal. The proposal's 5 project areas:

Buffalo Pass Trail System,

Emerald Mountain Trail System,

Mad Creek Trail System,

Rabbit Ears Pass Trail System, and

Town Pathways and Amenities.

That is the list that inspired the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) to hold it's World Summit here this summer. New and better trails taking us into our incredible summer forests are the investment that will draw and attach visitors to Steamboat. This $5 million should build new forest trails through Buffalo Pass, Rabbit Ears, and Mad Creek. Not new pavement downtown.