Ball set to roll on Glenwood Springs 2C followup decisions
Glenwood Springs City Council held its first work session last week to begin planning for the workforce-housing fund that was created with voter approval of the 2C ballot initiative on Nov. 8.
The tax will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Council met Dec. 1 with some of the original members from the Glenwood Springs Ad Hoc Committee who worked to create the funding source and put the question on the ballot.
Council was interested in starting the hunt for people to appoint to the new oversight board that was created by the lodging-tax measure. But, the committee said that could be decided over the course of the next few months.
Communicating with multiple sources who can provide diverse perspectives on aspects like ways to grow and spend the fund responsibly, they said.
“You need people that understand finance; you need people that understand real estate,” Clark Anderson, one of the drivers of the ad hoc committee, said. “It would be great if you had people that understand real estate finance.”
Connecting with professionals in other communities that have already been doing this kind of work and answering questions that have still not been decided can be simultaneous first steps along with deciding the proper makeup of the board, committee members also said.
“There’s some tough questions yet to answer around eligibility,” Clark said. “A lot of that stuff is spelled out but not perfectly.”
He added the city needs to define things like what happens to people who receive housing under the program and then retire.
There was also some disagreement about whether there should be a housing manager appointed and where the funding for a manager should come from. But, that decision was postponed.
“Getting someone who can be the strategic driver is going to be important,” Anderson said.
He added that it was not a crucial first decision, but something to think of by next year.
Mark Gould, another member of the ad hoc committee, requested to confirm that the workforce-housing fund would in fact be its own separate fund. He also presented a $3,000 check from the committee as funds left over from the campaign to start the fund.
He said that the committee never spent the funds during the campaign, and they all decided this would be the best way to spend it.
The new lodging-tax dollars will start being collected throughout next year, giving City Council 12 months to make the remaining decisions.
Gould and council both mentioned finding ways to increase funding through investments, matching funds and grants.
Creating another committee or adding to the current Glenwood Springs Housing Committee were favored recommendations for getting additional perspectives, along with the perspectives of those who are involved with housing programs and understand it well.
Sumner Schachter, a member of both the ad hoc committee and the Glenwood Springs Housing Commission, along with Council Members Ingrid Wussow and Shelley Kaup, said that adding members to the commission would be a good idea.
Just having people who work in housing or people who volunteered on the ad hoc committee to create the workforce housing would not be enough, they said.
Council was advised to not take examples from groups like the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority but instead to look at places like Eagle County, which has similar strategies and market context, Anderson said.
“All of those types of questions need to be looked at,” he said. “There aren’t perfect answers, but there are communities that have tried to answer these before.”
Lauri Best with Breckenridge Community Development was recommended by multiple members of the ad hoc committee as being a great source for planning in Glenwood Springs.
The Glenwood Ad Hoc Committee and the Glenwood Springs Housing Commission will be meeting Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. to discuss recommendations, including committee makeup and program reviews from other communities, along with future meeting dates.
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