City Council to consider historic preservation, water for new school and sustainability Tuesday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Steamboat Springs City Council will consider funding a position focused on long-term planning and historic preservation in the city’s Planning and Community Development Department.
With Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue also proposing to add three additional firefighters in 2020, City Council decided last month to wait for the outcome of the Nov. 5 election to determine what positions would be funded. Voters approved a 2-mill property tax to fund fire and emergency services in the city, which is expected to help fund staffing and operational costs of the department.
This opens up discussions of a historic preservation officer in the planning department, which would carry an estimated cost of $89,071.
As part of the budget discussion, City Council will also consider funding to pay seasonal staff. Seasonal city staff typically receive a $0.50 per hour raise when they return the following year, City Finance Director Kim Weber explained in a memo to the council. The proposed budget did not account for this “due to staff oversight” and budgeted for seasonal salaries at the bottom of the pay range, according to the memo.
The proposed would also see pay increases for existing city staff. Administrative and labor trade staff would see a 7.5% increase to adjust to the market. Professional and management positions would see a 5% increase, according to Weber. Sworn police officers and firefighters would see a 3% increase with an additional step increase of 4% to 7% for eligible employees. These public safety employees can qualify for step increases based on training and experience at the department.
City sales tax revenue in August and September was higher than originally projected in August and September. The budget proposed earlier this year projected 2020 sales tax based on a 5% increase on 2019 sales tax. With more revenue coming in than anticipated, City Council may choose to adopt a 2020 budget with projections for next year’s sales tax based on this higher number. This would raise the projected 2020 sales tax revenue in the budget from $27,563,799 to $27,747,251.
Steamboat II Metro District annexation of school district property
The Steamboat II Metro District has approved an agreement to annex 45-acres of Steamboat Springs School District property east of Steamboat II. This approval has a condition that means the annexation is only approved if the city agrees to sell additional water to Steamboat II to serve the school district. Steamboat II is also seeking confirmation from the city that the city wastewater treatment plant has the capacity to handle additional waste generated by school district facilities.
The Steamboat II Metro District currently provides water and wastewater services to Steamboat II, Silver Spur and Heritage Park.
In a memo to City Council from Public Works Director Jon Snyder, city staff wrote they are confident that the city can absorb both water and wastewater needs of a new school district campus.
“Staff is confident that the city has sufficient supplies to sell additional water to the Metro District to serve the school, even when including anticipated additional demands from infill development and West Steamboat Neighborhoods,” according to the memo.
Tourism improvement district to fund marketing, air program
City Council is expected to postpone consideration of an ordinance that would allow for the creation of a tourism improvement district, a special district that could levy a fee, tax or assessment on tourism-related businesses.
The Steamboat Springs Chamber is exploring such a district to fund its destination marketing program and the community’s air program.
The second reading of the ordinance will likely be postponed to a January meeting. The chamber has requested funding from the city to pay for a legal opinion of what the implications of a tourism improvement district would be in light of Colorado’s Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights. The minimum request would be $5,000, according to Tuesday’s city manager’s report.
Sustainability on the agenda
City Council will also receive a draft report documenting its greenhouse gas emissions.
The city, Routt County and the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council partnered to inventory the city and county’s greenhouse gas emissions. The inventory found that Routt County has seen a 3.3% increase in emissions between 2005 and 2018, while Steamboat has seen a 9.4% decrease in emissions during the same time period, according to a staff memo to the council.
City Council will also consider planning approvals for a pilot project that would place compost bins at the Howelsen Hill Rodeo Grounds. Initially, the bins would be available only to restaurants; however, organizers said the project could eventually expand to allow community members to drop off organic waste.
Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority
For the first hour of the meeting, City Council will discuss projects at the mountain base area as the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority. The council will consider the Redevelopment Authority’s 2020 budget and hear an update on the organization’s planned projects in 2020.
Council will also interview and appoint a person to the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee.
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