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April 28, 2014
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Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority asks for approval on new space

The Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority is poised to move into a new space in early June, pending approval from the Aspen City Council.

The housing authority has reached a five-year agreement for a 1,563-square-foot space located at 210 E. Hyman Ave., at $3,700 per month. The space, known officially as the Park Central West Condominiums, is unoccupied. The council will review the lease today during its regular meeting.

In January, the housing authority was given notice that it had to vacate its current 530 E. Main St. space, which it rents from Pitkin County. That space is one of 14 city-occupied sites the city is assessing in its Municipal Facilities Master Plan, which includes the Aspen Art Museum’s riverside building and the Aspen Police Department, among others.

In addition to more floor area, the new office space would add to the housing authority’s overhead cost, though exact numbers were not immediately available.

“While the rent is competitive, the combination of rent and HOA charges taken together represent an increase in overhead expenses for APCHA,” a memorandum to the council states. “This was anticipated. The budget was adjusted to accommodate those charges as well as the alterations needed to provide an ADA bathroom and kitchen as well as moving/furniture charges.”

Moving expenses will depend on whether the housing authority purchases new furniture, with a cost estimate expected at today’s meeting, the memo states.

The council has the option to decide against signing the lease, with an alternative in a separate commercial space the housing authority has looked at. If the council opts for the alternative, negotiations would restart.

Also on the agenda

On Tuesday, the council will offer input on election procedures and term limits for elected officials during a work session.

Before the council is the option to hold mail-in elections instead of traditional polling-place elections.

The state legislature adopted two bills in 2013 that affect the way municipal elections are conducted. House Bill 1303 allows counties to conduct all-mail-ballots elections. Because Pitkin County conducts all-mail-ballot elections, it no longer keeps a permanent mail-in voter registration list, a database the city relies on, which will be out of date by 2015. The city has no way to keep the lists up to date, so the council will need to adopt an ordinance amending election code by the end of the year.

The council also will address the issue of a term-limited mayor running for council and vice versa. If the council opts to have voters address the issue, a potential solution is to place a limit on the total number of consecutive years served in both offices, a memorandum to the council states.

The council will weigh in on each issue Tuesday.

herk@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Apr 29, 2014 10:36AM Published Apr 28, 2014 03:42PM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.