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The Week in Review

ELK MEADOWS PRESERVATION GROUP SHORT ON FUNDSThe committee trying to protect Elkins Meadow from development is a few million dollars short of its goal, the owner of the parcel said this week.

Paul Franklin, the Chicago-based developer whose firm owns the 104-acre parcel and is interested in putting 20 luxury homesites on it, said he can’t wait any longer to begin plans for development. His firm, the Wharton Group, plans to present its plans for the site on Fish Creek Falls Road to the city planning department within the next two weeks, he said.

Tuesday marked the deadline Franklin set for the group to come up with the money.



PARKING ON BUFFALO PASS A PROBLEMForest Service officials say recreational use at Buffalo Pass has reached critical mass and that illegal parking in the area must come to an end.

The parking lot at Dry Lake Campground, the highest plowed lot in the Buffalo Pass area, is designed to hold 30 vehicles with snowmobile trailers. During most weekends this winter, the lot has filled early in the morning, causing skiers and snowmobilers to park illegally along the road.



Ken Vertrees, the vice president of Blue Sky West, a backcountry skiing company permitted on Buffalo Pass, agreed. “It’s over capacity every day on the weekend,” he said.

CITY SEES FIRE CALLS DECREASE IN 2001The Steamboat Springs Fire Department had a decrease in calls in 2001, the first time in four years the number of calls has declined.

Last year, the department responded to 610 fire calls, down 13 calls as compared to the record 623 firefighters responded to in 2000. Calls include motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies in addition to fires.

Despite the drop, the number of calls in 2001 was still nearly 25 percent higher than the number of calls just two years ago.

“We had a lot of structure fires in January and February, but after that it just died down,” Assistant Fire Chief Bob Struble said of 2001.

AGENCIES CONCERNED ABOUT RADIO SYSTEMThe future of radio communication for law enforcement and emergency agencies in the state has Routt County officials concerned.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is in the midst of putting in infrastructure across the state that would allow law enforcement and emergency agencies to communicate through a digital trunked radio system.

It is estimated that it will cost the county communication center which is used by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office and the Steamboat Springs police and fire departments $8 million to use the system.

“We are concerned about the cost,” Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said. “There are also questions if the system will even work in the mountains.”

FOUNDATION AWARDS $200,000 IN GRANTSThe Yampa Valley Community Foundation awarded more than $200,000 in grant money during October, November and December or 50 percent of its annual awarded grant money.

The year 2001 provided the foundation with enough resources to award more than $400,000 among 174 grants.

Forty-one grants were awarded in the final three months of the year.

DROVES EXPECTED FOR MLK WEEKENDThere are signs that the three-day weekend for Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 19-21, will meet or exceed last year’s lodging levels.

“It’s a day-to-day guessing game,” Mike Lomas said Friday. “One day we crank reservations, and the next they drop off. We’re doing better than I ever thought we would this winter.”


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