Grand Lake helps citizen buy first home | SkyHiNews.com

Grand Lake helps citizen buy first home

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

For the first time since its inception, Grand Lake’s down-payment assistance program has found a recipient.

Town Manager Shane Hale informed the town board that one of its citizens qualified for a $10,000 loan through the town to be used for a down payment toward ownership of the buyer’s first home.

The program, which was adopted in 2003 to give out three $3,333 loans, was re-examined two years later to incorporate a $10,000 loan instead to be more in step with today’s mortgage realities.

It is the first time an applicant has qualified in Grand Lake in accordance with a point system set forth by the Grand County Housing Authority, which administrates the program.

The applicant, whose name has not been released, was also conditionally approved for $12,225 in Colorado Mountain Housing Coalition funds through the local housing authority.

The applicant is set to receive Grand Lake’s $10,000 grant, payable over the next 20 years, at an interest rate of 5 percent. Upon maturity, the town would net $5,840, Hale wrote in a memo to trustees.

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“It’s exciting. This is money we want to give away,” Hale said.

The announcement came to Grand Lake board members the same day Grand County Housing Authority’s Director Jim Sheehan gave a presentations about the latest findings of the 2008 Housing Needs Assessment study.

From 2002 to 2007, median residential sales prices have increased by 58 percent while the median household income throughout the county has increased by 21 percent, according to the report.

As many as 1,011 more affordable units are needed by 2012 to meet the work force housing needs in the county, the study states, and Grand Lake is considered one of renters’ desirable places to live in the county if only there were more affordable homes adequate for working adults and young families.

On that note, the town has scheduled a workshop on March 20 between the board of trustees and the planning commission to discuss a proposed inclusionary zoning policy.

“Once enacted, this policy would require 10 percent of the units of any development that generates five or more residential units to be developed as attainable units,” according to information provided by the town manager and Town Planner Abbi Jo Wittman.

If deemed worthy, the town may have the framework of inclusionary zoning in place before any pending developments move to final plat stage.

Grand Lake hopes to stick with present recycling deal

Grand Lake rejected its portion of The Trash Company’s bid to provide county-wide recycling.

The towns of Winter Park, Fraser, Granby and Grand Lake received a a collective bid from the trash company for $25,500 per month or $306,000 a year. The county would also be involved, theoretically, but how much hasn’t been determined.

For working purposes, said Grand Lake Manager Shane Hale, if the county were to contribute 50 percent of the costs, it would still leave each of the four towns paying about $38,250.

Without the county’s involvement, towns would be paying $76,500.

Grand Lake, where recycling originated in Grand County in the 1980s, hasn’t been affected by Valley Recyling’s fairly recent abandonment of municipal recycling. The town has maintained its relationship with Valley Recycling with a contracted $6,000 per year.

But Grand Lake board members voted unanimously to reject its would-be share of the bid, citing “sticker shock.”

“Going from $6,000 a year to $76,000 a year is little more than what the board is willing to do,” said Trustee Jim Peterson.

Trustees clarified in a motion that the town “is not saying no to recycling, just saying no to the dollar amount.”

” To reach Tonya Bina, e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com or call 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.

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