Steamboat City Council to consider 2016 budget proposal Tuesday | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat City Council to consider 2016 budget proposal Tuesday

The newly-seated Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday will consider giving final approval to a 2016 budget proposal that was pared down by $625,000 between first and second readings.

The budget will undo the cuts made last year to winter bus service, add a new human resources manager and commission a study aimed at figuring out what is going on in the soil beneath the surface of Howelsen Hill.

But it won’t include the new park ranger division the city wanted or some of the additional full-time equivalents it said it needed to improve customer service and meet new demands.

After the original staffing proposal was met with scrutiny by the former council, the city reduced its request for more workers, a move that trimmed $178,944 from the budget.

Council members were concerned the city has a habit of never letting employees go and that adding new positions would create new costs not easily removed from future budgets.

The council also replaced $750,000 worth of stabilization work on Howelsen Hill with a soil study and did not include the new ranger division in the final budget proposal.

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The council endorsed a smaller, $40,000 investment in a ranger program for the Yampa River and a $15,000 investment in additional maintenance at the Bear River Bike Park.

The council is poised for further deliberation about the budget proposal.

City staff on Tuesday will continue to push for $65,000 in additional funds so it can hire an office coordinater in the public works department.

The city’s management team says the position is badly needed, especially with a major downtown redevelopment program about to launch.

Councilman Tony Connell also is continuing a push to have some big capital projects added to the city’s parked projects list so they can be scored, ranked and possibly funded in the near future.

Connell’s proposed projects include an indoor field house recreation center, a remodel of City Hall, the acquisition of new surface parking lots in the downtown area and a sports field complex.

Connell noted current interest in the sports complex and the recreation center from private investors.

Also on Tuesday, the new council will elect officers and consider kicking off the hiring processes for a new city attorney and city manager.

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