Scott Ford

Born in Denver

Scott Ford 4 days, 5 hours ago on More timeshare units expected at Sheraton Steamboat

I know that hotels pay property taxes at the commercial rate. Are timeshare units taxed at the residential rate for property taxes?


Scott Ford 1 week, 1 day ago on 180-unit condo development proposed south of Walgreens

Just curious, does anyone know if apartment buildings/complexes are tax at the commercial rate for property taxes purposes?


Scott Ford 1 week, 2 days ago on Report outlines benefits of coal industry in region

Hi All - I am sending a copy of this report to Matt Stensland - perhaps he will post it along with this article.


Scott Ford 1 week, 2 days ago on Report outlines benefits of coal industry in region

Hi George - I have not done any work for YVDP for a couple of years. I am, however, very familiar with their capabilities. In addition, with all hoopla associated with "shopping local" the irony of not using a local firm is a wee-bit puzzling.


Scott Ford 1 week, 2 days ago on Report outlines benefits of coal industry in region

The key problem with this type of economic impact analysis report is that there is a very real danger that we believe it.

As just one example – on page 7 of the report, the Routt County section, indicates under the County Metric (right side of the page) states that the average household income is $122,523. What?!
Does anyone really believe that the average household income in Routt County is $122,523? This number appears to be a simplistic mean average. It is embarrassing that data is presented in this fashion.

The report states that total employment in Routt County is 20,878. What?! Out of a total county population of 23,334 this would mean that everybody over the age of 4 years old is working. I think what this number might be “jobs” not employment. This a “rookie error. Again, it is embarrassing that data is presented in this fashion.

In addition, the analysis in this report is highly dependent upon IMPLAN. IMPLAN is an economic input/output modeling software that is highly dependent on multipliers. These multipliers are a “black box” that have very little basis in reality at our local economy level. The result is that these multipliers compound upon each other making faulty input assumptions even worse.

Without question the coal industry is important to Northwest Colorado – this could have been a valuable report – from my perspective, however, it misses the mark. What is perhaps most disappointing about this report is that there is the local talent that could have done everything in this report and kept it grounded in a semblance of reality, i.e., no “black box”. Did someone lose the phone number for Yampa Valley Data Partners? Apparently so!

I think this report may be a candidate to replace the Downtown Parking Study.

(Although I am a member of City Council my opinions are my own and may not be those shared by my fellow members.)


Scott Ford 1 week, 6 days ago on Butterfly Barn relocation alternatives enter city planning process

Hi Scott – You once again have hit the “nail on the head”.
I have made it no secret that I struggle with URAs and tax increment financing (TIFs) as the primary way to financing the infrastructure improvements needed for downtown. In addition the possible diversion of property taxes from the voters intended purposes, TIFs restrict the use of funds generated by the TIF to only improvements that are within the established boundaries of the specific URA district. In the case of the Mountain District this restricted use of funds will span 25 years.

I understand the theory behind the use of a TIF. Fundamentally it assumes that the “investment” in the improvements within the well-defined geographic district will yield a tax return above and beyond that would have happened in the absent of the investment. However, we need to be very careful to understand situations where the conclusion does not always follow the premise.

Essentially the argument that incremental increases in taxes over and above that what already existed are due “entirely” to the investment made in the improvements. At best one can only conclude that in some situations maybe YES to a degree and sometimes maybe NO to a degree. We run the risk of talking in circles discussing a conclusion that cannot be proved.

The more I have learned about TIFs, locally and across the state, the more I am sure that metaphorically they are a basket of “snakes” we keep wanting to play with trusting that nobody will get bit. In the case of the Mountain District the RE-2 School District and Routt County got bit. Hopefully we can learn from this experience and not play with this basket of snakes hoping yet again nobody will get bit.

In regards to the downtown district its far “cleaner” to prioritize the improvements needed and develop a plan to complete them using methods of financing that do not have the “snaky” characteristics associated with TIFs.

Simply put, just because a municipal government, such as the City of Steamboat Springs, can use a TIF does not mean that it should.

(Although I am a member of City Council my opinions are my own and may not be those shared by my fellow council members.)


Scott Ford 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Steamboat City Council keeps commercial vendors out of Stock Bridge Transit Center parking lot

As background City Council was made aware of this request by the City Manager in her report on February 3rd.

Wording in City Manager’s Report: Staff have been approached by a paddleboard vendor who wishes to locate a mobile paddleboard rental station at the Stockbridge transit center. If this were a park, the request would go through the Parks & Rec. Commission and they routinely approve these uses on a revenue sharing basis. Staff would like your feedback on the idea of having this type of use in a public parking lot.

Parks and Rec Commission has established criteria that they use when evaluating these request. Because this request did not involve a “recreation asset” the Parks and Rec Commission oversees, it was passed on to City Council. From my perspective this request came to City Council out of “left field” and I was not prepared that evening to make this type of decision on the “fly”.
After some City Council member deliberation on this topic a motion was made NOT to allow the transit center parking lot to be used to rent paddle boards. I am not opposed to entering into agreements to use the Transit Center parking lot I just do not want to do them on the “fly” on a “one-off basis”.
I would like an agreed to approach with some type of selection/evaluation criteria. To me this seems like a reasonable approach to work towards.

(Although I am a member of City Council, my opinions are my own and may not be those shared by my fellow council members.)


Scott Ford 3 weeks, 3 days ago on Karen Vail: To area dog owners

Of course there is a “stat” that may inform further discussions about this rather messy topic. The City of New York, which also has a wee-bit of a doggie waste problem wanted to estimate the amount that was accumulating on sidewalks and in parks. The fun fact from this study was that the average dog poops about 1/3 of a pound a day. (Some breeds more and some breeds less)

I think it is safe to assume that “Dog Town USA” dogs have an output similar to their New York counterparts. How many dogs are there in Steamboat Springs? I do not know.

I am just a few hours away from listening to our new bear ordnance. My personal observation is that animal leaves far more than a 1/3 of a pound in my driveway after eating my neighbor’s crabapples.

My question, have you or have you ever wittiness someone getting a ticket for noncompliance with the doggie waste picking up ordnance? Just curious.

I am the proud owner of Tobias the Amazing Trout Dog and his output is well over 1/3 of a pound a day. However, I always travel with a bag and spare in case I come across someone in need. I also try and pick up at least one deposit a day that is not from my dog. It goes with being a participating member of a dog loving community.

BTW - Karen you are a good soul!

(Although I am a member of City Council my opinions are my own and may not be shared by my fellow council members.)


Scott Ford 1 month, 2 weeks ago on City of Steamboat Springs 'scrambling' to improve bus system

Good Morning Rhys & Scott W –

Until yesterday afternoon (on the bus again) I had no idea that the Cinnamon Line transformed into the Aqua Line at the Space Station Stop. There is nothing in the printed Winter Bus schedule brochure that indicates this. It is clearly printed that the Blue Line transforms into the Green Line at the GTC; and the Green Line subsequently transforms back into the Blue Line when it returns.

I learned of the Cinnamon/Aqua Line transformation yesterday when I caught the Cinnamon Line at Central Park Plaza. I had planned my quick meeting at Alpine Bank and shopping trip so I could catch the Cinnamon Line back to my neighborhood. At the Space Station stop the Cinnamon Line driver told us that this bus was becoming the Aqua Line. Unlike my experience Thursday night this time the bus driver said to the eight passengers on the bus we could stay on the bus because when he completes his “west loop” the bus will transform back into a Cinnamon Line. Two folks got off and the remaining six of us went on a longer bus ride that included a tour of west Steamboat.

The driver on my Thursday night experience described in the article above – should had told us the same thing. If the choice is get off the Cinnamon Line at Space Station, wait 35 minutes in the cold or stay on the bus and take a tour of west Steamboat until the bus returns to the exact same place and transforms into the Cinnamon Line – I am going to stay on the bus.

Live and Learn!

(Although I am a member of City Council my opinions are my own and may not be those shared by my fellow council members.)


Scott Ford 1 month, 2 weeks ago on City of Steamboat Springs 'scrambling' to improve bus system

Hi Rhys –

I think part of my problem is the GPS system on the bus and the supporting website which can be accessed via a smart phone.

I have started using the RouteShout website to help me know when the next bus is scheduled at a stop. My experience is that it does a pretty good job in the morning but seems to get “goofy” as the day progresses. Let me share a recent story.

On New Year’s Eve day it was really cold. Four of us were waiting for the Blue Line to downtown at about 3:00 pm and I pulled out my smart phone. I let folks know that the next Blue Line bus was scheduled at our US 40 and Anglers Drive (Safeway stop) in eight minutes. The four of us huddled together watching the estimated arrival time count down on my phone, six minutes turned into three minutes until it said “NOW Arriving”. Only problem – no bus! We collectively as a group looked up the road, back to the “smart phone” and then back to the road. “Where’s the bus”? I told the group it was not here unless it was incredibly small, invisible or cleverly disguised as a B&K beer truck.

Moments later the website refreshed and posted a new estimated arrival time of 11 minutes. I put my phone back in my pocket. A Blue Line bus came, my guess in about 11 minutes. Four very well chilled folks got on the bus more thankful initially for a place of warmth than where the bus was going.

It is a bummer to get one’s hope up that a bus is about to arrive only to have them dashed because of the false hope placed in a nifty piece of technology. I would be interested in hearing what the experience of others have been using the RouteShout website.

(Although I am a member of City Council my opinions are my own and may not be that of my fellow council members.)