Steamboat Springs The Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board talked at length about communication Thursday.
The group spent an hour figuring out how it wanted to be involved with the city of Steamboat Springs' ongoing discussion about community housing guidelines. Board members said they are concerned they don't have an opportunity to weigh in before the Steamboat Springs City Council changes housing policies.
They asked Nancy Engelken, the city's community housing coordinator, to help keep them in the loop at the beginning of the process, before the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission makes recommendations to the council.
Board member and Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak suggested the board take initiative, keep itself informed and discuss what it wanted to comment on.
"I think there's an obligation on our part to stay on top of it," Board President Mary Alice Page-Allen said. The group decided to look at proposed changes in advance, have Housing Authority staff make a recommendation to the board and allow the board to provide feedback.
Also at Thursday's meeting, Authority Project Manager Curtis Church told the board that rent will increase Aug. 1 for Fish Creek Mobile Home Park residents. Each renter will pay $15 more a month, putting the average rent just less than $400. The new rent amounts to an increase of about 3.5 percent, Church said.
In other Fish Creek news, the Housing Authority still is working to upgrade the railroad crossing at the mobile-home park. The authority is working with the city and Union Pacific Railroad to add lights, a signal and a crossbar at the tracks, Church said.
Two train-vehicle collisions at the crossing resulted in injuries to three people in late 2005 and early 2006.
The authority has put $550,000 into escrow for the fixes. It had hoped to begin work in March, but negotiations have delayed things, Church said.
"Part of (the deal) was if we can cover it with the $550,000, we can go forward," Housing Authority Executive Director Donna Howell said.
The crossing, which is now private, will become public, Church said. The city would then maintain it.
"With negotiations with the railroad, it's taken awhile," he said. "We've just had to recheck the numbers to make sure it still fits into the escrow."