Hayden, Oak Creek support search

Towns back proposed housing authority's quest for funds

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The towns of Hayden and Oak Creek have expressed support for a $159,000 energy impact grant to help fund startup costs for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

The energy impact grant request is a joint one from Routt County and the city of Steamboat Springs.

Letters of support from Hayden and Oak Creek were presented at a meeting between the Steamboat Springs City Council and Routt County commissioners Tuesday night.

While neither town wants to join the multijurisdictional housing authority in the spring of 2002, each supports what Steamboat and Routt County are trying to accomplish.

Hayden Mayor Chuck Grobe said Hayden didn't join the authority because residents are worried they would be taxed for a housing authority that would only help Steamboat Springs.

"We just weren't sure we were going to get our share of the monies," Grobe said about the town's reasoning at the time. "It just seemed like that's another thing Steamboat's developing to help Steamboat."

However, the town does support Steamboat's efforts to pursue funding for the authority, he said. He also said that if the authority works well in Steamboat, Hayden would consider joining.

Oak Creek Mayor Cargo Rodeman said Oak Creek's letter of support was for efforts to obtain funding for the housing authority.

The town's board of trustees has not approved or supported the housing authority, she said, although the board did vote against joining the authority. At that time, the board feared that the housing authority could be able to condemn land to purchase it, she said.

Rodeman said she would support the authority if it brought residents to Oak Creek, but that she did not want to support a plan that could move out Oak Creek residents who work in Steamboat.

The need for affordable housing in the Steamboat area is definitely present, she said.

"I do believe that low to moderate income housing is needed in this county," she said. Many people working in service industries "simply can't afford to rent, let alone buy anything."

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