Snowmass homeowners might get town’s help |

Snowmass homeowners might get town’s help

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Snowmass Village elected officials are considering paying approximately $47,000 to the owners of three Rodeo Place affordable housing units, because of cost overruns.

At a special meeting Tuesday, Mayor Douglas Mercatoris told the homeowners that half of the cost they had agreed to pay might actually be the town’s responsibility. The reimbursement will require a formal vote at a later meeting.

The agreement comes after the Rodeo Place contractor, Aspen-based Roaring Fork Custom Homes, in February asked the Town Council for additional funds to complete the project. And in May, the three couples who own the units signed contracts agreeing to pay amounts ranging from $28,092 to $35,382 related to cost over-runs for the construction of their homes.

The construction is already eight months behind schedule, and none of the residences are yet ready to be occupied. Because of problems with the contractor, much of the work has needed to be reinforced or redone, according to homeowners and town officials.

“Almost everything has been rebuilt on these houses … down to the foundation and up to the heating system,” homeowner Thomas Sherlock told council members Tuesday.

On June 4, the three couples ” Thomas and Michelle Sherlock, Corey and Pat McLernon, and Mark and Linda Chapdelaine ” wrote a letter to the town requesting that Snowmass release them from some of the cost increase. The homeowners argued that many of the cost increases resulted from decisions made by the town and should not be borne by them.

The homeowners pointed out that after the start date was delayed from June to December, the town decided to build through the winter.

“Winter working conditions is a big contributor to cost overruns and should always be avoided in this area,” wrote the homeowners.

In addition, the homeowners argued that the decision to add basements to all homes significantly increased structural and drainage expenses and may have been the reason their deck piers failed.

In their letter, the homeowners also expressed concern about the lack of specific information regarding the “cost of construction materials increase” that they were being asked to fund.

“In my construction business, if I expect someone to pay for extra construction costs, I must gain approval before continuing and, secondly, itemize the costs,” Sherlock wrote.

After hearing briefly from the homeowners, the Town Council withdrew into executive session to hear details of the current negotiations between the town and Roaring Fork Custom Homes and discuss the homeowners’ request.

After the executive session, closed to the public, Mercatoris announced that it appeared the town was responsible for half of the costs.

“Everybody on council feels that there is some responsibility here from the town’s standpoint,” he said.

Since the discussion was held in executive session, no details were given about how the council came to their conclusion.

The council cannot appropriate funds in a special meeting, so a formal vote to pay half of the costs must come at a future, regular meeting of the council.