Former city manager likely to get another loan extension | SteamboatToday.com

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Former city manager likely to get another loan extension

Alan Lanning unable to sell Steamboat home, repay $133K to city

Alan Lanning

— Former City Manager Alan Lanning, who resigned in July 2008, has not been able to sell his Steamboat Springs home and thus hasn't repaid a loan given to him by the city to purchase the house when he first moved here.

City Attorney Tony Lettunich said the city didn't act on the collection date agreed to when Lanning left the city because of the distressed housing market. He said the city soon will extend that period further because the real estate market issues persist.

"He'd be unable to sell his house at an amount to be able to repay his loan," Lettunich said. "We'll hold on and see if the market turns around and he'll be able to sell his house."

Lettunich said Lanning has not repaid any of the $133,000 loan given to him when he became city manager in June 2006. The years of 2006 and 2007 represented the height of the real estate market here, when affordable and attainable housing became one of the biggest issues facing the city.

A provision in Lanning's employment contract read: "Given the difficulty in finding a 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."

Lettunich said City Manager Jon Roberts didn't receive a similar loan to help him buy a house when he was first hired. He said Roberts received a rental allowance for several months after becoming city manager in January 2009.

Lanning's contract required him to sign a promissory note when he closed on the house. The contract stipulated that he repay the loan within six months of resigning or being terminated by the city. That period was extended to May 31, 2009, after he resigned to allow his children to finish the next school year in Steamboat.

When he left, Lanning also received seven months' severance pay — about $72,000 after deductions.

Reached by phone Friday morning, Lanning said his home hasn't been for sale.

"It hasn't been on the market," he said. "I intend to put it on the market this spring. There hasn't really been a market for my house."

Lanning, who has been the city manager for Central City for 1 1/2 years, said he would do whatever his contract with Steamboat required. Lanning said he still lives in Steamboat and commutes to Central City, where he lives during the week.

Lettunich said he was working on an extension of the loan repayment period for Lanning. He said it would go before the City Council for consideration.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com