Council looks for Emerald City aid |

Council looks for Emerald City aid

Groups considering grants for youth center in upcoming weeks

Avi Salzman

— The City Council will deal with the unanswered questions regarding Emerald City tonight in what could amount to a last-ditch attempt to save the youth center for at least eight months or a final plea to community groups to come to the city’s rescue.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department cut $83,575 from its Emerald City budget for 2002 because of a tight fiscal forecast and an initial 300 percent increase in the projected renewal on the lease.

City staff acknowledged Monday the city, in addition to dropping the lease, would be cutting the salaries of seasonal workers who work at Emerald City, meaning programs would not be as fully staffed as they were in the past, regardless of whether the facility stays open.

In addition, if the city keeps the building open, it will not be fully staffing parties at The Dock and The Underground, two substance-free youth clubs held in Emerald City, relying instead on volunteers to supervise the events, said Parks and Recreation Director Chris Wilson.

“We’re going to do our best to put on the best programs we can with the money that we’re budgeted,” said Jen Rose, the youth program coordinator for Emerald City.

Wilson met Monday with members of the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club to pitch the city’s application for a grant for $5,000, which the club’s board turned down last week but might reconsider.

He said a few other grants have come in recently, including $3,800 from Grand Futures, $900 from Councilman Loui Antonucci and $500 from the Steamboat Board of Realtors.

With the help of an earlier $5,000 grant from the Human Resource Coalition, the city now has $10,200 but needs $28,184 to keep the facility open for eight months, Wilson said.

The Rotary Club, Routt County United Way and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation will all be considering grants for the center in upcoming weeks, Wilson said.

If the city does not get the money to open the facility, it will have to move the programs into the Steamboat Springs Community Center and other spaces starting in January.

Meanwhile, other groups who use Emerald City have made plans to move. Partners in Routt County, which offers mentoring to young people throughout the county, will take up residence in Bogue Hall on the campus of Colorado Mountain College, said Partners Director Paul Bialek.

“It is not going to be as ideal a location as this is for us,” he said, “but we will be able to have some space for kids to have activities and for training.”

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