Steamboat, Routt County officials recommend housing authority board grow to 15 members |

Steamboat, Routt County officials recommend housing authority board grow to 15 members

Eight recommended appointments still need to be approved by Steamboat City Council and Board of County Commissioners

Community members and representatives listen to U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, as he speaks at a round table addressing affordable housing at the Brown Ranch west of Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority board looks like it will increase by one member after a joint group of Routt County commissioners and Steamboat Springs City Council members recommended eight new appointments last week.

The recommendations still need to be approved by both Routt County commissioners and City Council. If approved, the new board members would be seated in January.

After the initial candidate interviews, Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan said any of the nearly two dozen applicants would be good additions to the housing authority board.

“I just want to highlight how difficult of a decision it was for us,” Corrigan said.

There are seven open seats on the board, which accounts for half of the 14 members currently serving on the volunteer board. However, the housing authority’s bylaws allow there to be as many as 15 members.

Reese Freeman and Alison Brodie were recommended to fill two vacancies that were created in the last year. If the appointments are approved, their term would last until the end of 2023.

Axel Rios was recommended to fill another vacancy with the term expiring at the end of 2024. The final five seats have a term that ends in 2025. The recommended appointments for those seats included Kelly Gallegos, Patrick Phillips, Lou Tortora, Jim Beers and Michael Ann Marchand.

The only change among the recommendations after a shortlist came up on Dec. 6 was the addition of Freeman.

A panel of land use experts from the Urban Land Institute that spent last week learning about the housing authority’s Brown Ranch development said having a strong board would be important to making the project a success.

“We recommend bringing in members strategically, that have relevant development experience,” said Lorenzo Perez, a developer from Arizona, in a presentation on Friday, Dec. 9. “These projects, it’s inevitable you’re going to have problems. If unforeseen situations pop up, that knowledge base will be pivotal.” 

Commissioners will consider approving the appointments on Dec. 20, while City Council has not yet placed consideration of the recommendations on an agenda. 

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