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City Council to vote on Arnold Barn deal Tuesday

Scott Franz
A drawing shows the proposed stabilization plan for the Arnold Barn. The stabilization would involve constructing a new internal frame for the barn.
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The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday will consider approving an agreement that would end a legal battle and result in the stabilization of the iconic Arnold Barn.

But while a new caretaker and a sturdier frame are in sight for the neglected barn, there are still a couple of hurdles that might delay work on the structure.

In a memo to the City Council on Thursday, City Attorney Dan Foote suggested it might be prudent to delay the stabilization work until the barn and the acre of land beneath it are officially conveyed to Steamboat Ski Area.

He warned that, if the stabilization work is performed and the land transfer to the ski area doesn’t close for some reason, the city would have no recourse to maintain the barn in the future.

And there’s a possibility some title issues could delay the closing of the land deal, Foote noted.

The property owner and developer at the barn site were recently sued by the city about the structure’s perilous condition.

The defendants have now agreed to pay $25,000 to stabilize the structure if the city drops the lawsuit and accepts the proposal to have the ski area take over caretaking responsibilities for at least a decade.

Under the proposal, the ski area would cover the remaining cost of the stabilization and construct a gravel trail and historic sign in front of the barn.

The agreement is being made in the hope that the barn might be relocated from its current site, in the corner of the Meadows Parking lot, and serve as a new entrance feature at the base of the ski area.

In late February, the council gave an initial nod to the proposal to have the ski area become the barn’s new caretaker.

“It looks like we’ve got forward motion, which is wonderful,” historic preservationist Arianthè Stettner said Thursday.

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


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