Still looking for opportunities
[ By Kendra Walker ]
Mt. Crested Butte has a lead on housing for its next town manager, whoever that may be in the future.
The town has hired Greg Sund as interim town manager who is slated to start next month and the town council has the next six months to find a permanent replacement. Per their interim town manager agreement, the town will provide housing to Sund during his term.
Mayor Janet Farmer shared with the town council on March 15 that a homeowner in The Villas has offered up her three-bed, two-and-a-half bath unit with a one-car garage to the town for town manager housing.
“It’s furnished and ready to go,” said Farmer. “We’re negotiating out costs and Karl [Trujillo, town finance director] says it’s doable.”
Farmer noted the rent would be $4,000 a month, and the owner has agreed to pay all utilities and HOA fees. The unit would be ready mid-April.
Council member Roman Kolodziej asked whether Farmer and council member Dwayne Lehnertz had done a thorough enough search, as they had volunteered to reach out to real estate agents and property management companies for leads on housing opportunities. “$4,000 isn’t cheap and it doesn’t sound like we’ve done our due diligence,” he said. “This is the first place that’s come along.”
Lehnertz and Farmer said they had both spoken with a couple property managers who said they would put the feelers out, but there were no other leads at this time.
“It just kind of sounds like a couple phone calls were made and that was sort of it. I would like to see an ad in the paper,” said Kolodziej. “I’m sure there’s people out there that have no idea we’re having this conversation.”
“I think that we’re in a situation where we need to act with urgency and I think we have something available,” said council member Lauren Koelliker. “Putting this off or not taking this opportunity would be very foolish. We need to bring in leadership as soon as possible and having a nice place to live is going to be a huge benefit to our council and our town as a whole.”
“I agree with Roman, it is on the higher end of what I was thinking but I also agree with Lauren,” said council member Nicholas Kempin. “I think it’s urgent…and I’ve personally learned some lessons the last go round with the housing bit and don’t want to be in that situation again. It’s a little hard to swallow the monthly on that but I’m in support.”
“It sounds like there still could be some negotiating room on this property,” said town attorney Kathy Fogo. “If something pops up in the meantime that’s something council can consider as well.”
The council authorized the mayor to negotiate and execute a lease for town manger housing, but they plan to review the lease at their April 5 meeting. “That way if something comes up before the meeting, we can move forward with it,” said Koelliker.