City officials: Alternative snow dump sites limited |

City officials: Alternative snow dump sites limited

The Drury family's new home, and other available lots that can accommodate residences, are situated adjacent to the giant mountain the city builds each year with removed snow.
Scott Franz

— City of Steamboat Springs officials say they really don’t have a better place to put Mount Marsh — the colloquial name for the city’s snow dump — than its current home on Critter Court.

Facing new complaints from residents about the noise created by work associated with the giant mountain of removed snow, the city’s public works department was tasked with looking into alternative sites for the city’s snow dump.

According to a report that will be presented to the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday, other options are very limited.

They include the Steamboat Springs Airport and a wastewater treatment facility off Twentymile Road.

But Public Works Director Chuck Anderson and Streets Superintendent David Van Winkle say either alternative would create a host of new challenges for the city.

A report that will be presented to council claims the wastewater treatment plant location would require the construction of a new road at an estimated cost of $250,000 because it is designated as a “Homeland Security Area.”

The airport also would need a new access road at an estimated cost of $75,000 and is in close proximity to areas that may be developed as neighborhoods in the future.

As other alternatives, city staff researched the prospect of constructing a sound barrier at the existing site or adding a snowmelt system.

The noise barrier would cost $600,000 to install, while the snowmelt system would cost $635,000 and require a significant annual fuel budget.

The city has been storing snow at the current dump site for 27 years.

On Tuesday, public works staff will present the findings to council and recommend the snow storage area remain behind the Public Works shop off 13th Street.

The snow storage operations were thrust into the spotlight early this year when residents of the new live/work Captain Jack subdivision complained about the noise coming from the snow dump next door.

Callie and Jake Drury described how the noise from the dump site was keeping their family up at night and called on the city to find a solution.

“This isn’t just about our family,” Callie Drury told the council. “There will be a lot more families here” in this neighborhood.

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

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