“Two to three rooms, maybe a garage, maybe not”
[ By Kendra Walker ]
The Mt. Crested Butte town council is looking for town employee housing, specifically for its town manager. Isa Reeb was originally promised a town-owned three-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot unit with a garage in the Homestead affordable housing subdivision, but due to significant delays with the project the town is looking for another long-term solution. Last month, Reeb requested the town waive the requirement that the town manager must live in Mt. Crested Butte, which was denied by the council.
“We need to look at alternative options,” said mayor Janet Farmer, suggesting two council members volunteer to work on finding housing that would be comparable to the Homestead unit.
“Regardless of what our situation is with town managers we need to do something about housing. I just want to see this moving along,” said Farmer. “Right now I feel like it’s at a standstill. I want to get somebody looking and doing something and having something concrete on our horizon.”
Council member Dwayne Lehnertz and Farmer volunteered to head the search for a rental or place to buy in Mt. Crested Butte.
The council made several suggestions for the search, including reaching out to real estate agents, working with property management companies, putting an ad in the paper and more word of mouth.
Council member Steve Morris suggested they look at a range of parameters comparable to the Homestead unit so as not to miss opportunities. “Two to three rooms, maybe a garage, maybe not. I think it’s very possible that we might overlook something that could be a good fit,” he said.
“Garage should not be a deal breaker,” noted council member Roman Kolodziej in the Zoom chat. “Shoveling your car out builds character.”
Morris also suggested putting together a list of items the town could provide as a more appealing buyer. “Can we pay six months in advance? Could we do a 12 month master lease? There’s got to be things that leverage us over other people out there.”
Council member Nicholas Kempin suggested putting off figuring out a budget for now, while the council got a sense of what’s currently available. “Let’s put our fly on the water and see if we get any bites, and that would help us come up with a realistic budget,” he said. “I envision this as being on the agenda on every meeting going forward.”
“I will get with Dwayne and we’ll start figuring out how we’re going to tackle this,” said Farmer.
The town also purchased an 876-square-foot two-bed, two-bath condo in Elk Ridge II in November, however no Mt. Crested Butte employees, including Reeb, chose to move into it so it is now being leased to a community member.