Proposed base area improvements include safer intersections, more sandy beaches | SteamboatToday.com

Proposed base area improvements include safer intersections, more sandy beaches

Scott Franz

Steamboat Springs Run Rabbit Run ultramarathon participant Will Carlton relaxes in Burgess Creek in 2012. The addition of more sandy beach areas along the creek is one of the base area improvements being proposed for 2015.

— The base of Steamboat Ski Area next year could see more sandy beaches near Burgess Creek and trash containers that are more bear-proof.

Pedestrians also soon could find it easier to cross the busy intersection at Après Ski Way and Village Drive.

All of the proposals would be funded by the tax increment financing that has been in use now for several years in the urban renewal area at the base of the ski area.

On Tuesday night, the base area’s Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee, or URAAC, will pitch a list of projects it wants to accomplish in 2015 to the Steamboat Springs City Council.

Acting as the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority, the council will consider approving the budget for the base area improvements that includes $159,000 in operating expenses, $125,000 in capital expenses and a debt service payment of $1.5 million.

The URA then would have about $458,000 in reserves available that could possibly be used on projects like the beaches and the bear-proof trash receptacles in the second quarter of 2015.

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URAAC has divided its proposed projects for 2015 into two categories that include immediate start projects and ones that could be considered in the second quarter of 2015.

The bigger near-term projects include doing the preliminary design work to make the Après Ski and Village intersection safer for pedestrians and motorists and completing the final design work on a new iconic entry sign that is envisioned to incorporate a historic barn.

Notable projects to be considered in the second quarter of next year include the construction of the iconic sign and the intersection improvements, the addition of two new beach areas along Burgess Creek, enhancement of the promenade’s turf grass areas and bear-proofing the promenade trash receptacles.

According to a memo outlining the proposed projects, the newly installed trash receptacles at the promenade were attractive but “did not withstand a visit by a bear this fall.”

URAAC members arrived at the list of 2015 projects after an extensive vetting process where proposals were weighed against each other using a variety of different factors.

Also on Tuesday night, city staff will give the City Council a presentation on the history of the base area URA funding and some projections for its future funding levels.

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