Glenwood Springs City Council to review affordable housing proposals, electrical rate increases |

Glenwood Springs City Council to review affordable housing proposals, electrical rate increases

Proposed rate increase could be first since 2015

A partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the city of Glenwood Springs could move forward Thursday, potentially adding more than 20 affordable residences to the area.

City Council is scheduled to review two Habitat for Humanity proposals for affordable housing developments on city property during the council’s regular session.

In 2020, a city analysis of all municipally owned parcels within Glenwood Springs identified property at Eighth Street and Midland Avenue as well as along Airport Road across from Cardiff Glen as prime locations for affordable housing initiatives, city documents state.

At the council’s direction, city staff sought out potential partners in the projects through a Request-For-Proposal (RFP) process in June 2021, with the final RFP sent out in January.

Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork was the only respondent, according to city documents.

The proposal includes 14 three-bedroom townhomes on Airport Road, and a combination of six one-bedrooms and two two-bedroom condominium units at the property at Eighth Street and Midland Avenue. Habitat estimated a sale price of $325,000 for the townhomes, about $500,000 less than comparable units on the private market, city documents state. The condominiums are estimated at a sale price of about $250,000, based on similar Habitat projects in Garfield County.

The prices are intended to serve families earning about 80% of Area Median Income, which is calculated to be about $75,000 for a family of four, according to data provided to the city by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

If approved by the council, the units could be deed-restricted with certain conditions, including working within city limits to be eligible for the housing applications.

In other business, council members could review two documents advising an increase to the city’s electrical rates for the first time in seven years. While the reports were reviewed during a council work session in April, the council is slated to have the opportunity to vote on whether to move forward with a fee-increase schedule, beginning in 2022.

Compiled by the city’s wholesale electricity supplier, Municipal Energy Association of Nebraska, the reports identify two potential increase schedules in response to the rising cost of electricity generation and transmission.

The smaller increase would raise user rates by 4.5% each year for two years; whereas, the larger of the two would raise rates by 5.2%.

Until an increase is approved, it is not known whether every user would experience the same increase or if the increases might be applied incrementally across residential, commercial and agricultural users. Regardless of whether the increase differs by category, council heard from Public Works Director Matthew Langhorst in April that the total increased income should be 4.5% or 5.2% to maintain capital in reserve for securing infrastructure improvement loans and maintaining current operations.

The last time the city raised its electrical rates was 2015, Langhorst added.

City staff are recommending the council approve the 5.2% rate increase, city documents state.

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at

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