Council briefed on statewide URA changes | SteamboatToday.com

Council briefed on statewide URA changes

People gather at the promenade at the base of Steamboat Ski Area for the Free Summer Concert Series show featuring Carolina Chocolate Drops. Steamboat used tax increment financing to revitalize the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

— Changes to the state’s urban renewal laws are causing some city officials and urban renewal attorneys to watch their language.

Construction projects undertaken by this city’s urban renewal authority are now being referred to as “activities” rather than “projects.”

Malcolm Murray, the city of Steamboat Springs’ URA attorney, told city council members Tuesday that referring to the activities at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area as “projects,” as in the past, could trigger the need for the URA to adhere to big changes under a new law that takes effect Jan. 1, including revenue sharing agreements with other taxing entities.

“We’ve got to be a whole lot more careful about how you use the word project,” he said.

Murray was in Steamboat to brief the council, which acts as the city’s redevelopment authority, on how new state legislation could impact the existing URA at the base area.

While the law is causing URAs around the state to tread more carefully, it is not expected to lead to any big changes in Steamboat, at least not in the immediate future.

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Murray advised the redevelopment authority not to proactively engage in two requirements of the new law, which include entering into tax increment revenue sharing agreements with other taxing entities and adding representation to the URA board from the county and other taxing districts.

The redevelopment authority is only legally required to take these steps if it makes a change to the existing urban renewal plan or adopts a new one.

On Tuesday, the redevelopment authority signed off on funding for several base area projects, including a new beach area on Burgess Creek and improvements to the intersection of Apres Ski Way and Village Drive.

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