City Council FYI: Welcome to inaugural column
Welcome to the inaugural column of City Council FYI. Our goal is to have each City Council member choose a topic and write not only about the facts of a given situation, but how they think a solution should be crafted and predicated on their opinions. We will encourage separating out fact from opinion.
I’m up first, and I choose to write about City Council goals for 2018-19. Back in December 2017, Council held a retreat where we had an extensive discussion about our community goals. They are as follows.
• Goal 1: Fiscal sustainability — You may have noticed Council has spent six work sessions on fiscal sustainability, which is a fancy term for making sure that the city of Steamboat Springs’ revenues exceed its expenses.
While early indications that the 2018 calendar year is performing well, preliminary budget numbers for 2019 indicate a $500,000 to $3,500,000 shortfall. Hint: The expenses are expected to increase higher than revenue. We need a more diverse revenue stream. Did you know that Steamboat is one of six municipalities of 275 cities and towns in Colorado that do not have a property tax? And Colorado ranks 48 in the nation for the lowest total taxation. Stay tuned for an ongoing discussion on this most important topic. Included in this topic is “All Things Emergency Services.”
• Goal 2: Community engagement — We want to be the most approachable Council. Think Coffee with Council event, our booth at the farmers market, new monthly radio talk show “City Limits” on 105.7-FM, live broadcast on Cable Channel 6, return of streaming on the web and city’s engagement site, engagesteamboat.net. You can email us through the city’s web page. And of course our new monthly column in Steamboat Pilot & Today.
• Goal 3: Improve housing options — The city is proud of the community for passing Referendum 5A which will provide a dedicated funding source for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. But the city can facilitate the construction of all types of housing by being more efficient with their policies and procedures. To that end, the Zucker report was commissioned to look at the development process and recommend efficiencies.
• Goal 4: Howelsen Hill — The city is working with its residents to get a clear vision of the needs and wants for Howelsen Hill, together with a long-term sustainable financial plan. The city has been working collaboratively with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club on updating the Joint Use Agreement for Howelsen Hill.
• Goal 5: Downtown — We are updating the 1999 Master Plan, through resident workshops. Issues include land uses, density, height, parking standards, etc. Do you think there’s a parking problem? Email your thought to me at email@example.com.
• Goal 6: Long-term water planning — Clean water ranked the highest priority on this year’s community survey. The city is looking to identify and implement strategies to promote supply resiliency, including prepare for growth, plan for drought and wildfire, plan for a Colorado River Compact Call, plan for water conservation and develop redundant water supplies.
If we can do most of the above, Council will consider itself successful. However, we’ll only be so with the participation of our residents, so I strongly urge you to be a part of the process and let us know what you think on these key issues.
Kathi Meyer is the president pro tem for Steamboat Springs City Council. The above are my thoughts and do not necessarily reflect those of my fellow council members.
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