George Krawzoff in line for Yampa Valley Housing Authority post

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George Krawzoff

— Former city of Steamboat Springs Transportation Services Director George Krawzoff is in line to replace Mary Alice Page-Allen as the executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

Members of an interview committee tasked with finding a replacement for Page-Allen, who left to become Oak Creek’s town administrator, will recommend hiring Krawzoff to the Housing Authority’s full board April 12.

“George has a mix of experience we really need, and he’s really excited about the position,” said Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, who served on the interview committee. “You’ve got to have that passion and desire to serve in this role because it involves long hours, and we can’t compensate the executive director very well.”

Krawzoff’s contract has not been finalized.

The Housing Authority has developed affordable housing in the past, but in addition to counseling people on how to obtain housing, much of its activity since the recession has involved managing the existing affordable neighborhoods that generate its annual revenues. The Housing Authority also has the challenge of removing a piece of development ground on the city’s west side, Elk River Village, and the associated debt from its balance sheet.

The Housing Authority bought the land near U.S. Highway 40 and Routt County Road 129 in 2006 as a potential site for an affordable housing development. It makes payments of about $110,000 annually to cover the interest on a $2 million loan. In early summer 2011, the Housing Authority contemplated asking voters for a property tax that would have raised $395,000 annually, but the board decided in mid-July against moving forward with the ballot issue.

According to a news release announcing the committee’s recommendation of Krawzoff, it received resumes from 13 qualified applicants and chose five to interview. Stahoviak said that of the finalists, four were local candidates, and the fifth was from out of state.

The news release said Krawzoff’s knowledge of the Yampa Valley, past accomplishments and positive professional references made him stand out from the other candidates.

Although his background is in public transportation, Krawzoff said he gained valuable experience in the area of affordable housing while serving as a Pitkin County planning commissioner and after being appointed a Pitkin County commissioner after his predecessor resigned.

One of the projects he evaluated in Aspen involved a longstanding trailer park where zero lot lines were approved to facilitate the occupants purchasing the real estate beneath their homes.

In a private consulting role for the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Office, Krawzoff also studied and reported on the occupancy rates in caretaker units in the Roaring Fork Valley, as well as the satisfaction of the occupants of those homes.

Krawzoff’s resume reflects that he served on the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission from 1993 to 1996 and as its chairman from 1995 to 1996. He was appointed to fill the role as Pitkin County commissioner in 1996 but was defeated in his first bid to be elected to the post.

Krawzoff was the transportation director for the town of Snowmass Village from 1981 to 1992 and during that time managed the $3 million construction of the Gateway Transit Facility, which was a public/private partnership for 20,000 square feet of retail space and the transit facility.

Stahoviak said she was impressed that Krawzoff worked his way up to manager of the department after beginning as a bus driver. She added that his ability to climb the ladder gave her confidence that he could quickly plug any gaps in his affordable housing knowledge if the committee’s recommendation is accepted.

“We think he can learn and problem solve everything he needs to because he’s done it,” Stahoviak said.

As the city of Steamboat Springs Transportation Services director from October 2001 through March 2008, Krawzoff supervised the equivalent of 40 full-time employees and managed a $3 million annual budget. After leaving the city, he was engaged in private consulting and was appointed by then-Gov. Bill Ritter as the Colorado Department of Transportation commissioner representing Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Jackson, Grand, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties. His term ended in 2011.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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