Apply for your chance to test drive a city bus and go on patrol with Steamboat police during 4th City 101 program | SteamboatToday.com

Apply for your chance to test drive a city bus and go on patrol with Steamboat police during 4th City 101 program

Steamboat Springs Police Officer Cody Owens drives a patrol cruiser on Lincoln Avenue.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — My aim with a police-issued pistol wasn't very good, and I don’t think I was very good at designing hypothetical new sidewalks on Pine Grove Road. But I was brave enough to enter what has to be the foulest smelling room in Steamboat Springs at the city's wastewater treatment plant.

I had the chance last year to join other citizens and attend some of the city's unique City 101 sessions that give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at our city government.

A city bus whisks attendees on field trips around the city to such places as the airport, Howelsen Hill and the fire department.

In addition to firing less-than-lethal ammunition at the city's police station and touring the smelly wastewater plant, attendees also get to do such things as drive a Steamboat Springs Transit bus, man a Zamboni at the ice arena and see how Howelsen maintains its base when Mother Nature isn't being generous with snow.

I remember being struck during the police station tour at the rigorous policies that are in place to protect all the evidence stored there and how much work goes into taking the water up at Fish Creek Reservoir down to our faucets.

Other highlights included riding along with a police officer and getting to talk to the pilots and crew of the Classic Air medical helicopter based at the municipal airport to learn more about their operations and rescue missions.

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And yes, whoever HAS to enter that smelly room at the wastewater treatment plant deserves all of our thanks. (The smelly room tour is optional for City 101 members).

If nothing else, the sessions are bound to make you appreciate the work that goes into making a city hum and introduce you to some of the city workers who you won't find in the audience at city council meetings.

The city is currently accepting applications for the latest installment of the program.

Applications can be filled out at City Hall or by emailing government programs manager wdelliquadri@steamboatsprings.net.

The program will kick off Jan. 3, 2018, and continue through June.

City 101 sessions take place on Wednesdays, typically from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with lunch provided.

I wasn't able to attend all the sessions this year due to my busy reporting schedule and the time commitment the program requires. But if you have the time and a curiosity about how the city government works and who is manning it, I'd recommend it.

Applications for the program are due by Dec. 12.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.