City of Steamboat, housing authority collaborate on water sewer project
Steamboat Springs — The city of Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority are advertising for bidders on a water and sewer project in Fish Creek Mobile Home Park that would combine replacement of the city’s sanitary sewer interceptor that happens to run through the park, while accomplishing a much needed replacement of water and sewer lines to park’s 67 mobile homes.
“Talk about a partnership — the city has been terrific,” Housing Authority Board Chairwoman Kathi Meyer said Monday. “The city’s departments that do the bid work and public works have been very helpful in putting this together.”
Combining the city’s sewer interceptor project with water and sewer line replacement for the homes in the mobile home park, which is owned and managed by the Housing Authority, represents an economy of scale, Meyer said. It will allow the successful bidder to stage the job site once for both jobs and avoid incurring the extra expense of disrupting homeowners’ driveways and retaining walls twice.
Replacement of the city sewer interceptor already was on its list of prioritized capital projects. Merging the two projects required multiple departments having the will to “figure out how do we do it?” Meyer added.
The city loaned the Housing Authority $954,000 in 2007 to help with purchase of the mobile home park from Bob and Audrey Enever, who had owned it for 33 years. The Housing Authority took out an additional bank loan of $2.58 million, counting on lot rent to cover the debt.
Everyone involved understood that the park’s infrastructure was aging and required frequent repairs, but the Housing Authority’s cash flow was tied up with debt service.
Three years ago, the Authority’s consulting engineering firm, Drexel Barrell, informed the board that it needed to replace the water and sewer lines.
“We knew it was original infrastructure. Some of the sewer lines run underneath the homes,” Meyer said. “Over the last eight years, there have been ongoing maintenance issues. We’ve been lucky that although breaks over the last few years have caused inconvenience to tenants, there hasn’t been a significant incident.”
Fortunately, prevailing lending terms allowed the board to refinance the original bank loan, this time with Alpine Bank, at a lower interest rate. The freed-up revenue stream allowed the Housing Authority to leverage a loan through the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority to fund the water and sewer work.
“The stars aligned,” Meyer said, securing an important source of workforce housing in the community for perhaps another 50 years or so.
The final cost of the project is not known, but a mandatory pre-bid conference for interested contracting firms is scheduled for Feb. 26.
Meyer pointed out that the park’s location at the confluence of Fish Creek and the Yampa River means the timing of spring runoff and the subsidence of the water table will dictate when construction can begin.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After almost four years of providing service to the community as a standalone, full-service emergency department, Steamboat Emergency Center will end its operations April 30.