City Council tables Igloo replacement project
Steamboat Springs — The city’s aging Igloo child care facility will not be replaced with a new modular building this year.
The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday tabled until October a request from city staff to fund a $775,000 project to replace the Igloo and build a new sidewalk near Howelsen Hill.
Council members were concerned by the project’s increased cost and suggested there might be better alternatives.
“This is spending over $300 a square foot on a building that is a modular that’s in the floodplain,” Councilman Jason Lacy said. “I hope we have some better options come budget time.”
The city’s quest to replace the Igloo is not dead, however.
Several council members expressed support for considering a new proposal during the city’s budget season this fall.
Council President Walter Magill said it would be worthwhile for the city to explore potential private partnerships for replacing the child care facility.
“I’m not here to stop these programs,” Magill said.
He asked city staff whether the money might be better spent on another project aimed at hosting child care, or if there was an alternative site outside the floodplain that would not result in additional costs.
Council members Robin Crossan and Scott Ford both opposed the motion to table the budget proposal, but for different reasons.
Crossan expressed support for the project.
She noted parents of preschool-aged children depend on the Igloo for child care.
“Spending this money (out of the regular budget cycle) bothers me, but I think we’re doing the right thing for the right cause,” Crossan said.
Ford indicated the city should not invest in the facility, because it needed to show fiscal restraint.
“If we’re going to show fiscal sustainability, we have to show restraint, and as policymakers, we are going to have to say ‘no’ to good things,” Ford said. “It is not a knock against the programs (at the Igloo). I’m just not sure it is a fundamental core service that only the city can do.”
Councilwoman Heather Sloop arrived late to the meeting and did not vote on the motion to table the Igloo project.
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