I am writing in response to the letter from Council President Jason Lacy that appeared in the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Monday, Dec. 17. Overall, Jason’s letter provides some good information in answer to the questions raised by city residents. However, I have a couple of questions that his letter doesn’t answer, but which I think are important.
1. Operating costs. Jason says that the developer is proposing a Real Estate Transfer Assessment to reimburse the city for the costs of serving the development. Well, if it walks and talks and looks like a property transfer tax, it is a property transfer tax. But the city is precluded by TABOR from employing a property transfer tax. Why doesn’t council know that? It appears that the city will be incurring substantial costs with no revenue to pay for them. Does Brynn Grey have a solid legal opinion that it may apply a “transfer assessment” within the city limits? If not, it will certainly be challenged — and defeated — in court. What is their Plan B?
2. Sewer. Jason claims that there is adequate sewer treatment capacity now and that “future plant buildout” plans will accommodate future needs. How confident is he that there will be enough treatment capacity to serve 400-plus new homes during all seasons of the year? Is he aware that the city has one discharge permit for seasons when the Yampa is full, and another for seasons when it is running low? Is the city confident that the poor Yampa can handle all those new homes year-round?
I think that the Brynn Grey development has the potential for much that is good. I would feel much more favorably disposed toward it if I heard satisfactory answers to these questions.