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City, town and county leaders meet in Idaho Springs to discuss future plans

City, town and county leaders meet in Idaho Springs to discuss future plans
City, town and county leaders meet in Idaho Springs to discuss future plans

A group of about 20 leaders from five jurisdictions in Clear Creek County met at Marion’s of the Rockies restaurant in Idaho Springs to discuss pressing issues in general.

Top of the agenda on July 9 was the proposed creation of a multi-jurisdictional housing authority in the county.

According to Amy Saxton, director of strategic planning, the housing authority would be a stand-alone government agency representing a group of local governments joining together to promote affordable housing in the county.

It would comprise a board of directors and an executive director who would be entrusted with the management of the authority.

The initial cost of funding the authority would be divided according to a number of factors that would be determined in the final agreement of the five members, which include Clear Creek County, Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Empire and Silver Plume.

“It would provide services to residents living in affordable or low-cost housing and connect them with resources, as well as a central point of contact for existing (housing) programs that are difficult to navigate,” Saxton said.

With voter approval, Saxton said the city would also have the authority to raise taxes to finance new construction projects.

The housing authority has been a topic of discussion and debate in the district for over a year.

Empire city leaders said the agency would make sense for the small town if the details could be worked out by all parties.

“It’s not just about building homes, it’s about helping with property management companies, managing title restrictions, helping people improve their properties. Those are the things that are going to help Empire,” said Jeannette Piel, Empire’s city manager.

Clear Creek County Commissioner George Marlin said he hopes to have a final proposal for the agency to consider by the end of August.

“You should be able to work in the community where you live,” Idaho Springs Mayor Chuck Harmon told the group.

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