Re-1 makes little progress on housing plans
The Roaring Fork School District is moving forward slowly but surely with its plans for affordable employee housing near Basalt High School.The district is reviewing a contract to hire a coordinator to help come up with a sketch plan for the property, which the district hopes will hold 27 affordable housing units. The housing would be a mixture of condos, townhomes and five single-family homes.The biggest stumbling blocks are obtaining access to the housing, and coming up with a plan to mitigate debris flow, said board member Brad Zeigel, who is leading the process. Access is an issue because of the Safe School Act, he said. That act prohibits things like alcohol or guns being brought onto school property, so the access to the housing would have to be separate from access for the school. The school district also has to get permission to cross a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority rail corridor. Ordinarily a government entity – such as a school district – doesn’t need permission to cross a corridor, but since the crossing leads to housing, getting access is more difficult, he said. The school district is also talking with the town of Basalt to figure out who would be eligible for the housing. District employees will have the first shot at the housing, but town employees may also qualify, Zeigel said. All those ripples, along with a preliminary sketch, should be worked out within six or eight months, Zeigel said. The district could start looking for contractors by late summer or early fall. One advantage to building the housing in Basalt is that teachers and city employees with slightly higher incomes can qualify for affordable housing because of housing costs and income levels in Pitkin County, said Zeigel. In Eagle and Garfield counties, a teacher’s base salary would be too high to qualify for affordable housing, he said.
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