County seeking Whetstone grant extension with state

$10 million on the table if it can be used in time

By Katherine Nettles

During the Gunnison County commissioners meeting on February 20, county manager Matthew Birnie gave an update that he and his staff are trying to get an extension to their state-backed $10 million infrastructure grant for the county’s Whetstone Community Housing project, a 255-unit affordable housing development to be located across from Brush Creek. The project is still in the preliminary plan phase, and it is not certain that it can break ground this summer as originally hoped. 

The Colorado Transformational Affordable Housing Grant (TAHG) program grant was awarded to the county in late March 2023 and yet, almost one year later, the funding has still not been finalized so the county can begin using it. 

Adding to the challenge is that the original deadline to use the funds is in 2026, said Birnie. So, the money can’t be used yet, but once certified, it is to be used in a very short window of time and the project has several steps to complete in the land use change process before it can get started.

“But we have been unable to pin down an exact deadline with the state,” said Birnie of the grant funding expiration. “Based on some other grants with similar funding sources, we fear that may not include the 2026 building season. We would like to have an extension to include the 2027 building season,” he said. 

The county is also applying for a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant to finish the Brush Creek intersection redesign, which includes design plans for a roundabout, pedestrian underpass, bus stop and access trail. 

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