RFSD denied $2 million grant for affordable housing project
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) denied the Roaring Fork School District a $2 million grant that would have provided the first monetary commitment for the district’s affordable housing project in Carbondale.
However, Shannon Pelland, RFSD assistant superintendent of business services, hasn’t yet received a reason why the district’s application was denied. Understanding why is the first step in moving forward, according to Pelland.
“We don’t really know yet. We just found out and have not had a chance to meet with all the concerned parties and figure out where to go from here,” Pelland said. “We are definitely going to have to regroup.”
This setback sends district administration to the drawing board once again but hasn’t completely killed the project, according to Pelland.
“We will not give up,” Pelland said. “To say that we are moving forward ” at this point ” would be a stretch, because we don’t have the funds to move forward. But we will keep working at this until we find a way to make it happen, because it’s too important to let it go.”
The district’s affordable housing project started with a land exchange between the district and the town of Carbondale. The RFSD traded the old Carbondale Elementary School for a 2.7 acre plot near the new Roaring Fork High School. That transaction was completed in October.
The town of Carbondale was awarded $750,000 of a separate $2 million DOLA grant application in December, submitted by both the town of Carbondale and the RFSD.
The funds will be used for renovations to the old elementary school building, which will house the new Carbondale Community Center, a nonprofit center for local organizations in need of space.
The district intended to also use some of that $2 million grant, along with the other $2 million grant, to pay for some preliminary infrastructure work on the affordable housing project.
“We can’t do everything that was included in the grant application with that amount,” Pelland said.
Carbondale Town Manager Tom Baker was unavailable for comment Monday.
Pelland said the district has applied for another DOLA grant regarding the project. However, Pelland said that she is unsure if that will be awarded in light of this recent development.
“We really need to talk to the people at DOLA to better understand why they did not award funding because we are not sure if it’s worth resubmitting or not,” Pelland said.
Pelland hopes to speak with DOLA the first week of January.
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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