Aspen, Pitkin County to discuss Centennial repairs |

Aspen, Pitkin County to discuss Centennial repairs

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Potentially costly repairs at Aspen’s Centennial worker housing complex, where rotting walls were discovered last summer, will be a topic of discussion when the City Council and Pitkin County commissioners meet jointly next month.

The April 6 discussion, however, may take place behind closed doors, according to Barry Crook, assistant city manager. Potential litigation would be the justification for holding the discussion in an executive session, closed to the public, he said Monday.

There are 92 sale condos at Centennial, plus more than 100 rental apartments; all are designated for qualified local workers and governed by Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority rules.

The repair of damage caused by a leaky pipe last summer led to the discovery of rot and mold inside the walls in one portion of a Centennial building. One condo owner was forced to vacate her residence for some three months while repairs were made.

A problem with the flashing, used to weatherproof the joints where the walls and roof meet, apparently allowed water to seep into the inside of the walls, causing the framing to rot, said housing authority director Tom McCabe.

What’s unclear, he said, is how widespread the problem is at the 25-year-old complex.

There have reportedly been repairs over the years to the flashing on the rental buildings, but apparently not on the buildings containing the sale condos, McCabe said. A homeowners’ association is charged with handling common-area repairs for those buildings.

“It’s an HOA issue from our point of view,” McCabe said.

Whether government should be involved at all is “part of the conversation,” Crook said. The HOA has not made a formal request for action on the part of local government, he said, but there were discussions last year about what financing mechanisms might be available to the association. The ability of Centennial homeowners to pay for extensive repairs was a topic of concern after the problem came to light.

Rebuilding all of the walls would be a “monster problem,” McCabe conceded. “I’m recommending they [elected officials] be cautious and understand the magnitude of the issue before they jump in.”

Ed Cross, president of the Centennial HOA, declined Monday to discuss the matter, preferring to wait until the meeting with elected officials.

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