Housing, water rates and historic barn preservation highlight heavy Steamboat Springs City Council agenda
October 24, 2016
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night will discuss the feasibility of adding seven neighborhoods to west Steamboat, consider increasing water and wastewater rates and weigh the future of a historic but neglected barn.
The council will also hear a presentation about possible improvements to the arrival experience at Steamboat Ski Area and decide whether to sign off on spending $200,190 from the city's golf fund reserves to replace the vault toilets at Haymaker Golf Course with flushable toilets.
The city's Golf Management Committee reports some men shun the current vault toilets and choose instead to relieve themselves behind bushes and trees on the course.
The council's discussion about housing in West Steamboat and a potential annexation could have implications for the entire city.
Brynn Grey is currently gauging the feasibility of building 1,600 housing units in seven distinct neighborhoods west of town over the next three decades.
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On Tuesday night, the council will talk with the developers about their plans for how to water that growth.
Council members will also weigh in on a potential pre-annexation agreement for the project, which would determine how much the city would be reimbursed for the time its staff spends on vetting such a large proposal.
City officials have said a full buildout of the new neighborhoods in West Steamboat would require millions of dollars worth of new water infrastructure needed to tap into the Elk River.
According to a report included in the council's agenda, Brynn Grey is proposing to fund some of the water infrastructure that would be needed for the neighborhood by charging a $16,000 fee assessed to each market rate home at closing.
The developers also say they are willing to fund $200,000 worth of improvements related to pressure-reducing valves and booster stations that would be needed to connect to the city's water system.
In addition, the developers will see an exemption from a city rule that requires developers to bring water rights to the table, or pay a fee in lieu of those water rights.
According to city officials, Brynn Grey is claiming it would be economically unfeasible to pay the fee in lieu for water rights they do not have.
The housing discussion is slated to be among the first items the council tackles on Tuesday evening.
Other agenda highlights:
Water and wastewater rates
After receiving the results of a recent water and wastewater rate study, the council will consider acting on the study by approving rate increases for city customers for the first time since 2013.
The proposal would also create a new fee structure for commercial properties. Those properties would be charged based on the size of their meters.
Water and wastewater rate increases are enacted to pay for water and wastewater infrastructure.
Wondering what you would pay under the new rate structure?
Find a breakdown of the proposed rate changes for residential and commercial customers by clicking here.
Under the proposal, the base residential water charge for city water customers would go from $21.96 this year to $24.38 next year, and then to $27.07 in 2018.
The base charge for residential wastewater services would go from $33 this year to $34.40 next year, and then to $35.79 in 2018.
Look for a story on the proposed rate changes later this week in the Steamboat Today.
City Attorney Dan Foote will update the council on the fate of the historic Arnold Barn, which is sitting neglected at the corner of the Meadows parking lot off of Mount Werner Road.
According to Foote, the entities that the city believes are responsible for maintaining the barn are denying they have that responsibility.
Foote said the city may need to take legal action against the property owner and other responsible parties to enforce the maintenance responsibility.
Before discussing legal recourse with the council, Foote is suggesting the city wait almost a month to get more information about the condition of the barn.
The property owners did recently allow for an inspection of the structure.
A grassroots campaign called Save Arnold Barn has formed with the goal of preserving the 71-year-old structure.
The group is currently waiting to get cost estimates for possible stabilization efforts.
Foote said it would be helpful for the council to have that information before huddling to discuss its legal options.