County allocates $100,000 for Woody Creek homeowners
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
ASPEN – A slim majority of Pitkin County commissioners agreed Tuesday to put $100,000 toward the formation of a taxing district to help homeowners in the Woody Creek Subdivision levy funds to pay off debt they’ve incurred installing various infrastructure projects.
Commissioners had previously agreed to front the cash-strapped homeowners the money, but there was no clear agreement about how much the county expected to be reimbursed, explained Lance Clarke, deputy director of Community Development.
The cost of setting up the metro district – a step that still requires a vote of property owners within the proposed district, is now expected to cost about $110,000. Commissioners George Newman and Rob Ittner suggested the county contribute the roughly $60,000 and let the homeowners pick up the rest. The remaining commissioners advocated giving the homeowners’ association the full $100,000 to help with the expenses.
Commissioner Jack Hatfield supported the greater expenditure though he questioned why the homeowners had inferred the county did not expect reimbursement.
“We must do this now. We must get this done,” Hatfield said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Commissioner Rob Ittner, supporting the $60,000 contribution, noted the county doesn’t have enough money to do all the things it would like to do.
“We can’t put an endless amount of dollars everywhere,” he said.
The Woody Creek mobile home park was converted from a privately owned rental park to deed-restricted employee housing where owners purchased their lots a few years ago. The homeowners’ association took on a number of infrastructure projects to bring the newly-created subdivision up to county code, including road and utility improvements. About $100,000 in work is still to be done. Debt payments in combination with homeowners’ dues have been a hardship for some homeowners.
The formation of the district would essentially allow the homeowners to refinance the debt they have incurred at a more favorable rate, noted Commissioner Rachel Richards. The $100,000 from the county is about one-sixth of the total cost that homeowners will incur, she noted.
“We’re not talking about people who have enormous means,” said Commissioner Michael Owsley, supporting the contribution.
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