Eagle County purchases downtown Eagle home for employee housing
EAGLE — With all of the talk about the need for employee housing in Eagle County, the county itself has made it first foray into the effort.
The county has purchased a five-bedroom, 2,436-square-foot home located at 431 Broadway St. in Eagle with plans to operate the property as a housing option for its own employees. The purchase price for the property was $585,000.
“We have an internal housing need, and obviously we know we are light years behind employers like Eagle River Water & Sanitation District in providing internal housing,” said Kim Williams, Eagle County housing director. “But this is an opportunity to start small.”
Williams noted that like all employers in the valley, the county is challenged to recruit and retain qualified employees, and the tight local housing market is one of the biggest reasons why.
“This property was a great opportunity to serve that purpose,” she said.
Options for Office Expansion
The house is located next door to the county’s Colorado State University Extension Office, which is housed in a former residence located at the corner of Broadway Street and Fifth Street. Williams noted that having both properties also gives the county options for future administrative office expansion.
But for now, the county envisions offering 431 Broadway St. as living quarters for departments that are hit hardest by the housing issue. In particular, Williams cited the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and ECO Transit operations.
ECO Transit needs seasonal workers during the winter months when the bus schedule includes more routes. But Williams noted it is very difficult to find seasonal bus drivers, in part because it is so difficult for such workers to find a place to live.
“Finding seasonal workers is the biggest need for Eagle County,” Williams said. “We are really excited about this. We get to built a new program that will provide a benefit to our employees.”
The 431 Broadway St. leasing will be operated through the county’s housing department, similar to other county housing programs, Williams said.
Patrick Tvarkunas needed 237 signatures on a petition to let Eagle voters decide whether The Reserve at Hockett Gulch — a 500-unit workforce housing project — should be built. He and others submitted 304.