Loan negotiations for Yampa Valley Housing Authority to continue

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— Negotiations between the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and First National Bank of the Rockies about a $2 million loan are ongoing as both sides seek to move past a dispute regarding the Housing Authority’s debt obligation.

In a letter to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority dated May 31, First National Bank of the Rockies President and CEO Pete Waller said the bank will not take a writedown on its loan to the Housing Authority.

The approximately $2 million loan stemming from the Housing Authority's Elk River Village purchase in 2006 was the focus of additional negotiations with the bank during a meeting Wednesday.

Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board President Kathi Meyer said Wednesday evening that the meeting was productive and that the negotiations are ongoing.

The Housing Authority stopped paying on the note June 13 in attempt to push the bank to negotiate further.

In his letter, Waller outlines that the bank sees no reason to write down the principal of the loan and leave any eventual appreciation to be captured by the Housing Authority. He does state the bank is willing to work with the organization on a possible issue stemming from the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Because there was no public vote on the loan, the Housing Authority’s legal counsel, Dee Wisor, said that note would need to be converted to a lease/purchase agreement subject to yearly appropriations to comply with TABOR.

Meyer said Monday that the organization would offer shared appreciation as one of the options when it met with First National Bank of the Rockies.

Waller’s letter states that it would not be in the best interest of either party or the public to default on the loan.

The Housing Authority was formed by an intergovernmental agreement between the city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County, which jointly contribute about $160,000 to the organization per year.

Steamboat Springs City Council member Sonja Macys said Tuesday that it’s important to have an agency that’s tasked with affordable housing.

“We’re told repeatedly that it’s not supposed to be the city,” Macys said. “It logically follows that it has be some other organization.”

The document that formed the Housing Authority states that the city and county bear no responsibility for the entity’s debts. Members of the Routt County Board of Commissioners said Tuesday that the organization is free to do as it wishes.

The county commissioners, however, would like to be at the table during the city’s larger discussion about affordable housing.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

First National Bank of the Rockies letter

First National Bank of the Rockies loan letter

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