Downtown park and parking headline Steamboat Springs City Council agenda
The city council starts its meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Centennial Hall. Public comment is accepted at the time the agenda item is discussed. Public comment on items not on the agenda is accepted at 7 p.m. or at the end of the meeting, whichever comes first.
Steamboat Springs — Downtown parks and parking will be the two big topics up for discussion Tuesday night at a Steamboat Springs City Council meeting.
In the same evening, the council could start to direct some changes to downtown parking and also take the final step to purchase an old house on Yampa Street with the intention of converting the property into a public park.
The council earlier this month voted, 6-1, to pass the first reading of the purchase of the Workman property at 603 Yampa St. for $617,000.
A second reading and public hearing is set for Tuesday.
The funds to purchase the 100-year-old home would come from the $900,000 in accommodations tax dollars voters approved spending on Yampa Street improvements.
A committee of downtown stakeholders and community members is recommending the purchase of the property and its conversion into a riverside park with better access to the Yampa River.
Supporters of the proposal say a new park would help make Yampa a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly place.
While most council members are supportive of the purchase, some have expressed some reservations with the proposal even as the sale advances.
After he questioned whether the city was getting the best purchase price possible for the lot, council member Walter Magill said “it’s not quite the best deal, but I support the deal.”
He said he ultimately wanted to support the recommendation of the committee that vetted the proposal.
Council member Scott Myller echoed Magill’s sentiments.
The city must wait 31 days until after a successful second reading to give community members a chance to petition the real estate transaction.
If council approves the second reading of the purchase and there is no petition, the deal is expected to close Jan. 16.
Also on Tuesday, the council will hear some recommendations from a parking consultant who spent part of the summer studying downtown parking issues.
The consultant from Desman Associates will tell the council the city should consider adding parking meters on Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street.
The city already is moving ahead with a recommendation from the consultant to add license plate reading technology to improve enforcement.
Read the full report from the consultant at the end of this story.
Other agenda highlights include:
City manager evaluation
The council will do its regularly scheduled performance evaluation of City Manager Deb Hinsvark. The review is scheduled to occur in executive, or closed, session.
This will be the first time the council has utilized a new method of evaluating the city manager using a detailed scorecard. The 10-page evaluation form will have the council members grade the city manager on a number of criteria ranging from his or her ability to promote a strong sense of teamwork to his or her ability to be an effective leadership partner with the council.
After the evaluation is complete, a summary of the review will be released to the public.
The council will consider adopting a first reading of the proposed 2015 budget. The most significant changes to the budget from the council have been in the area of employee pay.
A slim majority of the council voted to reduce the amount of experience-based pay raises proposed for city employees by $264,000.
A compromise proposal that would have restored those raises narrowly failed at the last council meeting.
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