Tree Haus residents will weigh in on debt hike to improve roads
October 11, 2016
Steamboat Springs — Voters in the Tree Haus Metro District will have a say on the future of their roads this November.
A tax proposal would increase the District's debt by $1.25 million to improve the private neighborhood's roads, which have not been asphalted since 1989.
"Over the course of the past 27 years, the Tree Haus roadways have held up well as a result of diligent maintenance over the decades, including annual crack sealing," said Matthew Lavington, district board vice president Matthew Lavington. "However, given the finite life expectancy of our roadways and the opportunity to replace the roads with the favorable current price of oil, it makes sense to repave the subdivision now."
To finance the debt needed to take on the road project, the district is proposing a 15 percent mill levy increase.
Lavington said the tax measure would cost a Tree Haus property owner roughly an additional $90 to $110 per $100,000 in assessed property value, per year.
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"Financing and repaying debt over time (20 years) through property taxes allows the cost to be deductible versus an assessment or increase of service fees to cover the debt service," Lavington said. "Furthermore, financing the debt service through increased property taxes shares the cost of the new roadways between present and future property owners (either existing Tree Haus owners who continue to own their home or land, or new owners of Tree Haus property) versus an assessment.
The plan would roto-mill the existing asphalt in place and improve and strengthen the existing roadway base and provide a more consistent and stable surface over the long term, Lavington said.
He added he thinks the new asphalt roadway will enhance the resident and guest driving experience, eliminate some persistent snow plowing issues, provide and opportunity to replace older operational infrastructure, enhance property values and "look very good."