Pay for consultants on area plan undecided |

Pay for consultants on area plan undecided

— The consultants chosen to help construct the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan are ready to start working. Now the city just has to decide how much to pay them.

It’s a scenario out of the ordinary for the city, which usually decides on a price range before finding the consultant. This year, however, the city was forced to defer a number of items in the budget because of fears of an economic downturn after Sept. 11. The City Council has been waiting on budget numbers before making a decision on an allocation for the area plan.

As they decide how much to pay Clarion and Associates, who also worked on the city’s Community Development Code last year, the members of the City Council will also consider how much of the plan can be completed by city staff. Without the funds to pay the consultant, the city may have to reduce the scope of the project or give more responsibility to the planning staff.

The county will also have to figure out how much of the work can be done in-house.

The city and county have different goals for the plan and therefore will pay different amounts, said County Commissioner Doug Monger.

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The city and county could pay as much as $250,000 to the consultant if the City Council agrees to that allocation when it reviews the budget in April, said Wendie Schulenberg, the director of planning services.

The city has already received about $45,000 in grant money for specific studies, including a historic preservation study and a transportation “smart growth” study, Schulenberg said.

The county is already locked in at $70,000, Monger said. The county does not need the plan to be as extensive as the city does.

“The city’s after a lot more detail,” Monger said.

Schulenberg said the city wants the plan to project 15 years ahead. The old plan, completed in 1995, was really useful for only five years. The city wants to have specific studies done to help inform its decisions for more than a decade.

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