Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 5 months, 1 week ago on David Moss: Climate change context

Huh. Melting ice at the North pole is allowing new shipping through through the area. Global cooling?


Steve Lewis 5 months, 1 week ago on Our View: New river park tops the list

I believe the "7th Street" parcel is 655 Yampa St. - at least it was called that in one Mainstreet email.

John, Some portion of the other park area, the "6th Street parcel", is City property. I think that park may all already be City property.


Steve Lewis 5 months, 1 week ago on Rob Douglas: ‘We have a choice as a society’

The best column takes no side - it presents facts and lets the reader think to arrive at his/her own conclusions. This is also the hardest writing to do. Thanks Rob for a column very well done.

And this is the first State of the City Report I've heard of for Steamboat Springs. Thanks Deb. Great work as well. I'm not so pleased when you write to promote Council choices, like building a new police station. In my view Council President Bart Kounovsky should author such letters and own those arguments. But this report is great stuff. Also not very easy. Property taxes are not a welcome idea for many, but good on you for presenting the challenge we face.

These are more straightforward conversations on a local level. On the national level there are so many layers to the spending that the real culprits underneath can go unnoticed. For instance Health Care is a growing fiscal impact. More and more evidence shows that special interests are driving too much medical testing, too many medical procedures, too many drugs prescribed, and too much being paid for those drugs. Weeding out those is a smarter course than arguing comprehensive Health Care is good or bad policy overall. Ditto for other expenses on other discretionary expenses like the military, where congressional districts are forcing unwanted equipment expenditures on the military.


Steve Lewis 5 months, 3 weeks ago on Lodging tax committee starts grading potential trail projects

The original Trails Proposal's 5 project areas are: Buffalo Pass Trail System, Emerald Mountain Trail System, Mad Creek Trail System, Rabbit Ears Pass Trail System, and Town Pathways and Amenities.

In my view forest trails should be, by far, the predominate use of the funds. The most beautiful things about Steamboat Springs are found outside the city limits. Please build awesome memories with this money. Thank you to the Lodges who are making this possible.


Steve Lewis 5 months, 3 weeks ago on Some Steamboat City Council members question recent use of confidential memos from city staff

As Scott Ford said, this is our town. We should have government in the light of day. Either an item deserves the secrecy of executive session or it does not deserve any secrecy at all.


Steve Lewis 5 months, 3 weeks 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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.