City Council to vote on Triple Crown contract | SteamboatToday.com

City Council to vote on Triple Crown contract

Scott Franz

The discussion about Triple Crown's future at Emerald Park drew a large crowd to Citizens Hall on Tuesday night

— After receiving dozens of letters and a lot of public comment on both sides of the issue, the Steamboat Springs City Council is set to decide whether to let Triple Crown play ball at Emerald Park.

Council to discuss police investigation

• The council is schedule to meet in executive session to discuss personnel matters related to the independent investigation that was recently completed to look into accusations against the city’s police chief and deputy police chief. Council President Bart Kounovsky said he could not comment on the executive session other than to confirm it was for personnel matters related to the police investigation. City Manager Deb Hinsvark said she expects a public summary of the findings of the investigation will be released following the executive session.

The council on Tuesday night will vote on the proposed terms of a new five-year contract with Triple Crown that would keep the tournament in Steamboat through 2020 and let its youth baseball and softball teams use one field at Emerald in 2016, two in 2017 and three from 2018 to 2020.

The use of the fields in 2017 and beyond would be dependent upon the completion of a new access road into the park that does not run through the residential neighborhood of Pamela Lane. The city is moving ahead with the construction of that new access, but the timing of the project is up to Union Pacific Railroad, which will need to install new crossing signals.

City staff is telling the council it believes allowing Triple Crown to use one field next year before the construction of the new access “would not severely impact parking at Emerald Park and still allow for other non-programmed uses and access to the Botanic Park.”

Residents on Pamela Lane have long told the city they oppose Triple Crown using the park until a new access is built.

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Stewards of the Yampa River Botanic Park have also expressed concern about letting Triple Crown use the fields because the added games could bring unwanted noise and traffic to a place that values silence and serenity.

So far, city council members have offered different opinions of the Triple Crown situation.

Some, including Council President Bart Kounovsky, have appeared open to letting Triple Crown use the fields on a limited basis even before the access is built.

Other council members have suggested the fields should be off limits to the extra games until the access problem is fixed.

A city ordinance only lets youth teams play scheduled games at Emerald, but the city’s rules do not prevent non-local organizations such as Triple Crown from using the fields.

The park currently hosts soccer and lacrosse tournaments that bring in several teams and players from outside of the city.

Under the proposed terms of the contract, the city would pay a $55,000 base annual sponsorship fee to Triple Crown annually and also “continue to improve field conditions at all parks.”

Triple Crown pays a fixed field usage fee.

The full terms of the contract can be viewed here.

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

If you go

The Steamboat Springs City Council meets at 5 p.m. in Citizens Hall on 10th Street.

Council to discuss police investigation

• The council is schedule to meet in executive session to discuss personnel matters related to the independent investigation that was recently completed to look into accusations against the city’s police chief and deputy police chief. Council President Bart Kounovsky said he could not comment on the executive session other than to confirm it was for personnel matters related to the police investigation. City Manager Deb Hinsvark said she expects a public summary of the findings of the investigation will be released following the executive session.