Steamboat names committee members to seek new funding options for fire, emergency services | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat names committee members to seek new funding options for fire, emergency services

Fire trucks leave the Mountain Fire Station in 2012. (File photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs City Council named seven people to a citizens committee assembled to identify long-term funding sources for emergency services in the city.

The group is tasked with determining what facilities are needed to support fire and emergency services in the long term and to determine possible funding options to hire additional staff and build a new fire station.

The committee was formed after a proposed election on a measure to consolidate the city into the Steamboat Springs Area Fire Protection District was called off — a move that would have levied an up to 9-mill property tax on city residents.

City Manager Gary Suiter and council members Sonja Macys and Scott Ford reviewed the applications to determine which of the 12 applicants would serve on the committee.

Macys said the trio focused on three things when selecting the committee members: familiarity with providing fire and emergency services through service or membership on a fire district board; familiarity with budgets of the city’s size and scope; and a track record of community service.

“We had 12 very qualified applicants, and it was really good to see that there was this much interest,” Macys said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The group also tried to determine what biases applicants brought to the committee.

“It’s not a disqualifier that anybody would feel strongly one way or another, but we wanted to make sure that we had enough of a mix of people that represent all sides of this issue to get the committee going,” Macys said.

The committee will be asked to come up with several fire funding options by April, giving them about three months to meet and identify possible solutions.

“A lot of these folks have served on committees before, so they’ll have a good feel for what that flow is,” Ford said. “We have to move fairly quickly.”

Committee members are:

  • Bud Romberg, a former city council member and retired high school science teacher
  • Kathy Connell, a former city council member and former board president of the Steamboat Springs Fire Protection District
  • Joella West, a member of the accommodations tax reserve committee
  • Dan Parillo, general manager of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas who served as chairman of the housing steering committee
  • Steve Sehnert, former president of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs who also served as a member of the city’s police facilities committee during the creation of the combined law enforcement facility
  • Ed MacArthur, co-owner of Native Excavating and a long-time community volunteer who has donated skilled labor and expertise to many local projects and organizations
  • Gary Cogswell, former firefighter who also served as a member of the city’s police facilities committee during the creation of the combined law enforcement facility

To view City Council’s discussion on this topic, visit docs.steamboatsprings.net:10100/OnBaseAgendaOnline.  

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.


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