Tuesday, November 18, 2003
The Steamboat Springs City Council and Routt County commissioners unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement establishing a multijurisdictional housing authority.
The Yampa Valley Housing Authority agreement proposed Tuesday represented more than a year of work from Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, former Councilman Bud Romberg and a community steering committee.
"Once again, Routt County and the city of Steamboat Springs is forging ground that has not been tread on by many people," Stahoviak said. "Not many jurisdictions have been able to get to the point where we are tonight."
The authority would take over the assets and programs developed by the Regional Living Foundation. Kathi Meyer, RALF's treasurer, said the nonprofit organization had about $3 million in net worth and $300,000 in cash.
The authority intends to ask voters to approve a tax or impact fee, but in the first three years, the city and county plan to support the authority with $145,000 each.
The two entities are hoping an Energy Impact Grant will help share the operating expenses and have asked for a three-year grant of $159,000.
The authority encompasses the same area as the city limits and rural fire protection district, but Stahoviak said language in the document allows for other municipalities and counties to join.
In 2002, the city and county had gone to the Yampa, Oak Creek and the Hayden town boards to see if they would want to be a part of the authority. The town boards declined, but tonight Stahoviak said Hayden and Oak Creek wrote letters supporting the city and county's request for a state grant to help fund the housing authority.
The document also is worded to reach low- to moderate-income families and those who work in Routt County but who might not necessarily live here.
"All through this document and all through this discussion, what we were trying to get at is that people not living here but working here should have an opportunity to not only access the programs but be a part of the board," Stahoviak said.
The first step is to appoint a board. Three commissioners and three council members will make recommendations on the seven to 15 members of the board.
The agreement stipulates that the council appoints one member from its board to serve and for the commissioners to choose one member from its board to serve.
The agreement also recommends the board have mixed interests and suggests including representatives from the Habitat for Humanity board; a company employing 100 or more residents; low- or middle-income residents within the authority's boundary; and individuals in the field of banking, finance, real estate, law, development, construction, health care, human services and the resort and tourism industry.
All the members on the board must live or work within the authority's boundary.
One of the first tasks of the authority will be to appoint an executive director.
"I see that our work is just beginning," Commissioner Doug Monger said.
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