Granby hears from developers for workforce housing project

Snow and lights decorate a pine tree outside Granby's Town Hall on Thursday, Dec. 8.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

At its Jan. 10 meeting, the Granby Board of Trustees heard presentations from the two companies selected as finalists to win the bid for developing a workforce housing project on land the town owns on U.S. Highway 40 north of the Flying Heels Rodeo Arena: Together, We Grow and the National Housing Partnership Foundation. 

The presentations and the board discussion lasted nearly two hours, with each company allotted 30 minutes to present and 20 minutes to answer questions. Trustees could have chosen a winning bid Tuesday but decided to take more time to think it over.

“I don’t feel comfortable making a decision tonight,” mayor pro-tem Deb Shaw said. “I like to weigh things at least three to four days and let it sink in. They are two different entities, definitely two different entities.”

Other trustees agreed with Shaw, and trustee Sharon Silva added that she had read reviews of properties built by the companies and would like to visit some sites to interview residents about their satisfaction with the facilities and management companies associated with the developers.

“Some of the (online) comments were that they were pretty rundown properties, and these were current reviews,” Silva said. “If there’s a property management person on site, why are they not taking care of the property, handling the residents’ concerns and those kinds of things?”

Shaw added that she thought the town moved too fast in selecting a developer in 2019 for the Rodeo Apartments that were supposed to be built on the land now intended for the workforce housing project.

“I think we jumped the gun, if I’m being honest,” Shaw said. “I think we moved way too fast. We didn’t ask enough questions and it turned out to bite us. What they first showed us was gorgeous, just gorgeous. And then when it came down to the last thing that they were offering — I couldn’t believe the difference.”

The board voted to make their final decision at their first meeting of February, which will be on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

The town received four bids for the project, but town staff narrowed them down to the two through a scoring process and interviews. Town manager Ted Cherry said the National Housing Partnership Foundation came in first in the staff’s gradings while Together, We Grow started out in third.

“(Together, We Grow) originally came in, within our group from a scoring perspective, as the third out of the four,” Cherry said. “But through conversations in the initial interview, they were actually bumped up to the second option.”

Granby expects whichever developer it chooses to deliver 100 apartments and 158 duplexes, townhomes and single-family houses, with deed-restricted units for rent and for sale to residents working in the county.

Other business:

  • The board met as the Grand Elk General Improvement District Board to approve its Dec. 13 minutes and discuss repairs for Thompson Road. The town received one bid from United Companies for the work for just under $2 million, which is $580,910 higher than the previous estimate. Granby also heard from Grand County officials that the county may contribute around $50,000 to the repair costs. The board directed staff to work with United to lower the cost and ask Kroger to commit to paying more for the project.
  • Mountain Parks Electric had issues with the final plat for Granby Market Square that led to its approval being continued at the last board of trustees meeting. The board continued the item again, this time to Feb. 14.
  • Trustees approved the purchase of a snow plow attachment for a loader and a Polaris Ranger for $23,379 and $31,708.94, respectively. Both items had more money allocated to them in the town’s budget than their final cost.
  • The board approved a resolution specifying the town’s meeting place, days of trustee meetings and places that notices will be posted — online and on the doors of Town Hall — for 2023.
  • Trustees made the mayor pro-tem, committee and metro districts assignments for the year. Trustee Deb Shaw remained mayor pro-tem, mayor Josh Hardy, Shaw and trustee Rebecca Quesada will continue to sit on the administrative committee, trustee Jeff Sneddon remains on the economic development committee, Silva will join trustee Chris Michalowski on the housing committee, Quesada will stay on the public safety committee, trustee Michael Mahoney will join the public works committee, Silva will take over the recreation committee, Cherry will represent the town at Headwaters and Granby Ranch Metro District meetings and Hardy and Sneddon will sit on the planning commission.
  • The board canceled an agreement it approved last year for a fifth amendment, having to do with water fees, to its water agreement with Sun Communities because Sun had not signed the agreement.
  • Trustees approved an ordinance to update town code to comply with new state law. Senate Bill 22-032 prevents local taxing jurisdictions from charging a fee for a general business license if a business has a state retail license and a nonexistent or incidental physical presence in the town. It also removes the requirement for businesses meeting those standards to apply for a local general business license starting July 1.
  • The board approved an ordinance related to Colorado’s House Bill 21-1162, which instituted a single-use carryout bag fee at many stores Jan. 1. The town’s ordinance establishes the fee for bags at applicable businesses at 10 cents and outlines enforcement methods based on the state’s recommendations. One violation will result in a warning, while two in a two-year period leads to a $500 fine and three or more in a three-year period will lead to $1,000 fines.
  • Cherry told the board about money the town received from a Congressional Direct Spending award for $1.35 million to finish the “halfway pathway,” an unfinished sidewalk from Kaibab Park to City Market. Trustees approved using $402,600 of capital funds to cover the remainder of the project and instructed staff to make a request for bid proposals.
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