Area plan, budgets on agenda

City, county officials meet to discuss issues

— The West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, a multijurisdictional housing authority and budget financing will be the topics of discussion as Routt County and Steamboat Springs officials meet for the second time this year.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners will host the Steamboat Springs City Council at noon today at the Commissioners' Hearing Room in the Routt County Courthouse Annex, 136 Sixth St.

County Commissioners will host the two-hour meeting as the two governing bodies attempt to create a cooperative relationship.

County officials have set the agenda, which will be discussed over a lunch.

"We have created an agenda with a number of items so we can have good discussion," Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.

An issue that will get the majority of the meeting time is which entity will be responsible for instituting special assessments for the West of Steamboat Area Plan.

The plan, which outlines how the area outside the city limits is to grow in the future, cannot be approved until the county and city determine how the special assessment issue is handled.

Special assessments can be levied against property owners to pay for infrastructure and other utilities needed for residential development.

City and county officials need to decide which governing body will be responsible for implementing special assessments.

"The county could choose to form a special assessment district," Stahoviak said. "Or the county could approve Steamboat Springs' special assessment plan."

County officials are hopeful a resolution in how the commissioners and City Council handle the issue will be reached through today's discussion.

Commissioner and city officials will also discuss the progress of a multijurisdictional housing authority. The city and the county are interested in creating a housing authority to promote affordable housing in the county.

Before the city and the county formally create the authority, they have reached out to other communities in the county.

Officials in Oak Creek and Hayden are interested in participating in the initial discussions of creating the housing authority.

Yampa has indicated it is not interested in joining the authority.

The last item on the agenda is to give county and city officials a better understanding of each other's budgets.

The county has a $28 million budget that relies on property taxes. The city has a $31 million budget that relies heavily on sales tax revenue.

Presentations of both budgets will be given to the elected officials.

"Even though there are many ways we can work together, there are different ways the county looks at things and the city looks at things," Stahoviak said.

The meeting will be the second time the two boards have met this year. The city hosted a meeting in January.

The city and the county have made a commitment to each other to try to meet every other month.

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