Granby denies request to dissolve ROSH Foundation
The Recreation, Open Space and Housing Foundation requested its dissolution after recently being reconstituted by the Granby Board of Trustees, but the trustees declined on Tuesday to allow the foundation to end.
In the saga of what one trustee called the “most divisive” topic he’s seen since joining the board, the ROSH board voted unanimously to dissolve itself March 16. The vote came two weeks after the town board appointed a revised board featuring four new and three former ROSH members.
“After reviewing the history of the foundation and the current events regarding the covenant, the foundation board has determined it is the appropriate time to terminate the covenant and dissolve the foundation,” the ROSH board said in a letter to the town.
However, according to ROSH’s covenants, the Granby trustees must approve the dissolution, and this was something they hesitated to do.
A group of homeowners in Granby Ranch have repeatedly called for the dissolution of the foundation since the ROSH board approached the town to appoint a new member in December.
ROSH receives a 1% transfer fee from second sales and beyond of properties in Granby Ranch and Edgewater. The complaint from residents centers on how ROSH has spent that money, which included fees of more than $231,000 from homeowners last year.
However, the Granby board has limited authority over ROSH, in that it can only appoint new members and agree to dissolve the foundation. After appointing the board members Feb. 25, some trustees seemed surprise ROSH had elected to dissolve so quickly.
“I hoped this would have gone a little bit further,” Trustee Josh Hardy said. “Maybe with that new board, they would have done something a little different. I wasn’t expecting it to follow up at the next board meeting for dissolution.”
Other trustees countered that it was not the place of the town to decide whether ROSH should be dissolved. Trustee Natascha O’Flaherty pointed out that the ROSH board vote to dissolve was unanimous, including the three members from the previous board.
“If they decided to dissolve it, we’re not really there to second guess,” Trustee Nick Raible added. “We’re there to either dissolve this or not, but if we say not, then we’re saying the town has more input in this when we don’t.”
The ROSH board was created as part of the negotiation process to annex Granby Ranch and later Edgewater into Granby. Last year, ROSH donated funds from the transfer fees to Trout Unlimited, the Moffat Road Railroad Museum, Grand County for grandstands on the rodeo grounds, the Dairy Apartments and the Rodeo Apartments.
Granby Ranch homeowners have previously argued that these funds should go toward their neighborhood as they contribute a large potion of ROSH funds, but ROSH countered that the covenants allow for any spending that benefits residents of Granby.
“This was an agreement made with the town,” Trustee Becky Johnson said. “We’re not supposed to get into their day to day operations, but the town citizens benefit very much from this agreement that was made… We need to remember why this was brought about.”
If ROSH were to dissolve, remaining funds would go to an educational, recreational or scientific charity at the discretion of the foundation’s board, according to its covenants.
The trustees voted against dissolving ROSH 4-2, with O’Flaherty and Raible voting in favor of dissolution and Mayor Paul Chavoustie abstaining due to his connection with the Edgewater development.
“How do we tell a board that wants to dissolve that they can’t?” O’Flaherty said after the vote. “This puts them in a very tenuous position.”
The town attorney outlined next steps, which including notifying the ROSH board of this decision, offering members the opportunity to resign if they would no longer like to serve and appointing news members as necessary.
In other business:
• The board delayed a vote on a bid for the new pickleball courts because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The bid for two pickleball courts proposed in Polhamus Park would cost $87,860 and was previously budgeted for by the town board. However, both the recreation director and trustees felt that, with the current economic situation facing Granby residents, it would be inappropriate to move forward. The discussion was continued to April 14 with the hope that the impact of the pandemic would become clearer.
• The trustees approved a $50,000 contribution to the Emergency Business Fund managed by the Grand Foundation as a way to support local businesses facing economic hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the board ultimately decided against restricting the funds to only Granby businesses, the town would have a representative on the committee determining allocations. Other governments in the county are being asked to contribute as well.
• The town board approved a pandemic illness policy for its employees. The policy provides guidance regarding leave during a pandemic situation like the current one. If an employee or immediate family member is diagnosed with a pandemic illness they will be allowed 14 days of paid leave. It also allows for an additional four days of paid leave if the employee believes they may have been infected and are showing symptoms.
• The town manager requested that the hearing for the public works manual be continued to May 26 to allow for more time to go through the 336 page document. He cited the coronavirus outbreak as the reason for the delay.
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