Snowmass housing faces contractor woes |

Snowmass housing faces contractor woes

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Three Rodeo Place homes ” affordable housing being built by the town of Snowmass Village ” are now eight months behind and are beset with structural issues.

The contractor, Roaring Fork Custom Homes, was scheduled to construct nine more of the Rodeo Place homes, but has asked to discontinue its relationship with the town.

“I would like to let the public know and everyone else know that I’m very sorry for what’s happened. We made a mistake. We hired the wrong contractor,” said housing manager Joe Coffey at Monday’s Snowmass Town Council meeting.

The homes are being erected by Roaring Fork Custom Homes, but they are modular homes built by Timber Creek Homes in Stratton, Neb.

Some residents who have purchased homes ” Mark and Linda Chapdelaine, Tom Sherlock and Corey McLernon ” said they were supposed to move in Sept. 15, 2007. Instead their houses were gutted in April, so construction errors could be remedied. Sherlock said his roof still is wavy, and it is beginning to separate from the house.

“I almost feel as if I’m getting a house from Silverthorne at the outlet.” McLernon said at the town meeting.

Sherlock said that communication between the homeowners and the town improved in February. Homeowners eventually were taken through their homes and shown what was wrong and how the problems would be fixed, he said. Roaring Fork Custom Homes has hired another contractor, CYR, to complete the work on the three homes at Roaring Fork Custom Homes’ cost, according to Town Manager Russell Forrest.

Homeowners, as well as the town, already have absorbed some cost increases with the project.

In February, Roaring Fork Custom Homes told the council that because of rising costs, it could no longer build the homes for the original price. The addition of basements and solar panels on all the homes, as well as costs associated with bad soils and a building delay caused by land ownership issues also added to costs. Increases totaled to about 11 percent said Forrest. The town agreed to pay a portion of the increase, and homeowners were asked to pay the rest.

To complete the project as soon as possible, the town hopes to buy the remaining nine modular homes that are in Nebraska, and contract with another builder to erect them, along with the 11 more that are slated to be built in this phase.

Project cost increases won’t be known until a builder is hired; town staffers will put out requests for proposals to contractors this week.

The Town Council directed staff to require that the next contractor be bonded. They also directed staff to look into hiring an owner’s representative. Such a town employee would be charged with monitoring the construction project.

Town staff also are looking into a third-party warranty for the homes.

Town Attorney John Dresser assured the homeowners that they would not be required to buy the homes.

“The town’s going to stand behind those … but we’re also not going to say you have to buy it under these circumstances,” he said.

The Rodeo Place housing currently is subsidized through Snowmass’ housing excise tax, a tax on extra square footage in new homes. All full-time Snowmass Village employees are eligible for the housing lottery.