Affordable housing depends on funding |

Affordable housing depends on funding

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

The developer of Glenwood Meadows made a pitch to the Roaring Fork School District board of education for a $141,000 fee waiver for possible affordable housing.

Robert Macgregor presented a plan to the district for 84 affordable housing units at Meadows, which may or may not be possible depending on funding.

The district is currently trying to build affordable housing for employees in Basalt. Macgregor argued that the district employees might have access to the housing ” just like any other citizen ” in as little as a year.

The affordable housing is dependent on federal funding from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and likely on a fee waiver from the city, said Macgregor. The district collects a fee on all new housing developments to help schools educate additional kids due to growth, said district finance director Shannon Pelland. The district can’t actually grant a waiver, as the fee is collected and controlled by the city, but can give input to the city, said Pelland.

The district has the biggest problem with housing teachers in Basalt, and few teachers would likely qualify for the housing at Meadows due to income requirements, said the board. Many of the district’s aides and kitchen personnel would qualify, according to numbers provided by Macgregor.

The district didn’t make a decision on whether or not to recommend a fee waiver to the city, but Macgregor said that if even one of their employees ended up in the housing it would have been worth the money.

“I really think you’d be hard pressed to (build) a single unit for $141,000,” he said.

In other district news:

The board of education continued negotiations for Montessori-specific materials the district has left over from the now-disbanded Montessori strand at Carbondale Elementary School.

The new Ross Montessori would like to buy the materials, but the district and Ross have not been able to agree on a price. The district paid about $68,000 for the materials new. The district has offered Ross a two-year payment plan for a total of $30,000. Ross has offered $25,000.

The district has little use for the Montessori materials other than the possibility of using them in new district-run day-care centers, said superintendent Fred Wall.

The district has also already come down in price and may be able to get a better price for the materials if they sell to another Montessori program, said some board members.

In the end, the district offered $28,000. Matt Moore, Ross’s representative, said he wasn’t authorized to spend that much. The offer is still on the table.

Though the dollar amount is relatively small, some find the negations symbolic.

Carbondale schools are divided between regular public schools, charters and private schools, said Bill Lamont, who works with Advocates for Carbondale Education.

“We are trying to bring (Carbondale) schools back together again. … From a community standpoint we have to stop the divisiveness in the community,” he said.

He urged the board to sell the materials for the good of the community.

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