Letter to the editor: The working class gives us character and culture, so vote yes on 6A

I’m writing to support the Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership and ballot measure 6A. This ballot measure will give reliable funding for the partnership to provide housing opportunities in Granby, Fraser, Winter Park and unincorporated Grand County.

The partnership is following a tried and true model established by housing authorities from neighboring communities. The partnership is not reinventing the wheel. Some say short-term rentals are to blame and they should pay for housing. The reality is that the partnership legally cannot raise fees or impose an excise tax on those rentals. Some say developers are to blame and they should pay. The partnership can impose up to a $2-per-square-foot impact fee on new development, but even under booming construction times it will only generate an estimated $400,000 per year and is subject to the ups and downs of development.

A developer impact fee should be on the table for the future, but it is not stable enough as a sole funding mechanism. The proposed 6A mill levy will generate over $1 million per year and a yes vote means that second home and short-term rental properties will be paying a majority of the funding. A funded Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership gives us an organization that is large enough to build projects at scale, can take advantage of state and federal grants, and is capable of making significant impacts in our communities. From my experience it is costly and inefficient for each town to go it alone as many don’t have the funding, staff or expertise. Cooperation is our best bet. The working class is what gives us our character and culture and I believe we should support them by voting yes on 6A.

Chris Michalowski, Granby trustee

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