Former Steamboat city manager asks city for 3rd extension on home loan

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Alan Lanning

— A former Steamboat Springs city manager again is asking for more time to repay the home loan he got from the city eight years ago when the local housing market was near its peak.

Alan Lanning missed the June 5 repayment deadline on the $133,000 home loan.

He recently listed the home for sale and is asking the city for another two years to repay the loan.

"I think we've always been hopeful the market would turn around and everything would be OK, but you never know what it's going to do," City Attorney Tony Lettunich said Monday.

The Steamboat Springs City Council now has extended the repayment deadline on Lanning's loan twice, most recently in June 2012.

The first loan extension was granted to allow Lanning's children to finish school in Steamboat. The second extension was granted to give the housing market time to recover and for Lanning to sell the home.

Lanning, who commuted for a while from Steamboat to his job as city manager in Central City, put his home on the market May 1.

Lettunich said the former city manager recently accepted a city administrator job in Minnesota.

The city of Steamboat has not acted on the previous collection dates on Lanning's loan because of the distressed housing market.

City Council members who have supported the loan extension in the past have called waiting the best course of action.

City Council President Bart Kounovsky said that with the city in the second position on a mortgage that remains underwater, waiting still could be the best option.

"We're all just trying to make the best of a bad situation, both from the city's perspective and from the Lannings' perspective," Kounovsky said. "If he has continued to make his payments (on the mortgage) and he's trying to make the best of a tough situation, I would support giving him another two years."

Kounovsky said the city "really doesn't have any other options unless we want to foreclose on the property."

The council is scheduled to consider extending the loan due date again July 1. Under any extension, the payment would be due in two years or when the house is sold, whichever comes first.

No payments on the loan have been made.

A message left for Lanning at his home was not returned Monday afternoon.

Lanning was given the loan after he was hired here in 2006. The contract required the loan be repaid six months after Lanning resigned in July 2008.

A provision in his contract read: "Given the difficulty in finding suitable and affordable housing in the city, the city agrees to loan Mr. Lanning an amount equal to 20 percent of the purchase price of a residence in Steamboat Springs."

If the value of the home appreciates above what it was when Lanning purchased it, the city would receive 20 percent of that value increase on top of the loan.

The loan was unique for city managers in Steamboat. Lettunich said it was modeled after a loan arrangement Vail has used.

Lanning's successor, Jon Roberts, did not get a similar loan and instead received a rental allowance for several months.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

Comments

Scott Wedel 6 months ago

That the city is always at Lanning's mercy with the city's only way to force being repaid is via foreclosure is precisely why such loans should never be made. It is an awful business move going where lenders even in 2006 refused to tread.

City should look to sell the loan as troubled debt for whatever on the dollar and let the new owner figure out the best course of action.

Same is true for the nearly million dollar debt the city is owed for Fish Creek Mobile Home Park which city now says has to be considered as a gift to YVHA because it will never be repaid as agreed.

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scott bideau 6 months ago

Sounds like the city found their police station site!

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Dan Hill 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Seriously, it's time the City stopped letting this guy take us for fools. We've cut him heaps of slack, far more than 99.9999999% of people who payed too much at the top of the market have ever received.

Based on the numbers Mark Ruckman presented above, and assuming the asking price is realistic, we simply aren't facing that big a loss if we foreclose. And who is to say we'll do better by waiting even longer? That was the argument the last time this came up for review.

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Or city could say property will be sold at auction and accept a loss if the price doesn't cover the second mortgage.

That won't happen because the city doesn't want to admit to taking a loss. The city will agree to extending it to avoid taking a loss.

Just like the city on the million dollar YVHA for FCMHP won't write down the loan to fair market value, but will say they haven't lost any money even though they are making it interest free with a greatly extended payback period. So city can claim they aren't taking a loss. But it is just like a lottery ticket in which the winner can get a million over 30 years via annual payments or take the lump sum of about 55% of the "winning amount"

So, in terms of value of money now vs money later, the city of SB has lost about $400K on the FCMHP loan.

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rhys jones 5 months, 4 weeks ago

"No payments on the loan have been made."

I'm struggling to maintain substandard housing, working my taill off to to keep my nose above water -- and this guy's got a free ride in a luxurious house, on your and my dime.

Another case of the privileged few raping the taxpayers. Tell Lanning to take a hike.

They can ALL take a hike -- every damn leach we support.

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rhys jones 5 months, 4 weeks ago

S##t, isn't this embezzlement? Fraud? Theft? Or do the good ol' boys take care of their own?

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Well, get yourself hired into a prime city government job and then city government will care about your housing situation.

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mark hartless 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Bigger, broader government, with it's fingers in all kinds of deals from affordable housing to parks to trails to sports, etc, etc... THAT'S what we need...

"Helping facilitate"... that's what we'll call it! Yeah... that sounds right...

What could possibly go wrong??

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john bailey 5 months, 4 weeks ago

jeje , yes WHAT could possibly go wrong ?......

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Maybe these sorts of ongoing problems will teach the city to avoid financially dubious, at best, good intentions.

Worst part of the $100K loan is that there should be nothing wrong with a city manager living in what can be afforded based upon the job's pay. If a city manager cannot find an acceptable place to live on a $150K salary then they have personal issues that will conflict with the job.

Would the city loan $100K to a city manager seeking to invest in the stock market? If not, then why was loaning money to invest into a house treated differently?

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 4 weeks ago

This activity stems from the councils from hell activity back in the Iron Horse days. Those folks are in exile now.

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Michael Bird 5 months, 4 weeks ago

With home loans at a LOW rate, how about Lanning taking out a new loan NOW fo cover the 1st and 2nd ? His new salary qualifies - right ? Especially an ARM. Do not extend it.

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rhys jones 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Sue the (ascribe fitting descriptive). Thief. What's his signature worth?

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rhys jones 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Obviously not. Lanning's autograph gets him a big house for free, while mine and a buck might get a cup of coffee at McDonald's.

I'm GLAD I don't have money. That makes people weird. The nouveau riche anyway, which would include most political thieves like this one.

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mark hartless 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Anyone managing the City of Steamboat for $150,000/ yr is hardly rich.

This is what happens when the voters tolerate government operating outside it's proper domain. Worse, when they feel discomfort from said consequences their cure is to invite government even farther outside it's domain.

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Michael Bird 5 months, 4 weeks ago

He made a lot more than $150,000. He received a comprehensive health and dental insurance plan that most locals do not have plus a most lucrative defined pension plan all paid for by the City.If he had his family on the City's health/dental plan and didn't pay 100% of their premium, he also received another huge benefit.

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rhys jones 5 months, 3 weeks ago

We're not even on the same planet.

I've designed software nobody else in this town is capable of -- all for naught, apparently, so I have other skills -- including dishwashing; they call me Rhys Lightning at my day job, only partly in jest.

And I don't make a tenth of what the instant crook does, both over and under the table. Nobody said life was fair, we choose our own path. It just really goads me that my hard-earned taxes support the slimiest of thieves, practically every damn one of them.

It's an exclusive, private club, and they take care of their own. I've benn awaiting the Big Collapse for over 40 years, and it ain't happened yet. When will the balloon pop? When the Chinese come flooding over to take possession? Or the Fed declares bankruptcy, and goes sailing off to Aruba? Did you get yours yet?

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