City may turn unused lagoon into recreation center

Council will discuss project at today's meeting

Christine Metz

— The city of Steamboat Springs wants to turn its unused lagoon sewer system into a recreation complex.

The three sewer lagoons are on 18 acres southwest of the Routt County Jail. The $3.2 million proposal put together by city staff would convert the property into a park with soccer, baseball and softball fields, a skate and bike park and an extension of the Yampa River Core Trail.

The City Council will get its first look at the plan during a meeting at 4:45 p.m. today in Centennial Hall.

Built in the 1950s, the three lagoons were used for wastewater treatment until the 1980s when the city’s wastewater treatment plant was built. Since then, the lagoons have sometimes been used to hold sewage until capacity was available in the city’s sewer lines. But with the completion of a major sewer line last month, the lagoons are no longer needed, Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said.

The council’s options are turning the land into a park, selling the property or leaving the lagoons as they are. DuBord said the majority of the land is in a floodplain, making it difficult to develop. Using the land for a park is the most viable option, she said.

The proposal designates 8.1 acres as wetland and rivers, and the other 9.9 as park area.

DuBord said the $3.2 million estimate is at the high end. The two most expensive items are cleanup of the lagoons, $610,000; and road improvements, $605,000. The plan includes a new road leading from U.S. Highway 40 into the site.

Other items in the proposal are the skateboard and bike park, $360,000; field development, $310,000; and park design, $275,250. The plan includes $175,000 for the development of a section of the core trail and another $58,000 for park and neighborhood access trails.

DuBord said the plan could be implemented in stages. Not all of the items have to be included. Grant funding may be available, she said.

Last Tuesday, the City Council approved a new five-year agreement with Triple Crown Sports, which hosts baseball, softball and soccer tournaments in Steamboat Springs. In the new contract, the city promised to develop a plan for building more baseball and softball fields by December 2003.

But DuBord said the proposal is a result of the community’s desire for more open space, parks and trails. In the 2002 Community Survey, residents rated creating more parks and open space their highest priority.

If the council supports the plan, the Parks and Recreation Commission would hold neighborhood and community meetings on the proposal.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.