Eagle County reshuffles housing funds | VailDaily.com

Eagle County reshuffles housing funds

How they voted: All in favor

Who they talked to: Finance Director John Lewis

How they spent it: Commissioners approved another $300,000 for the county’s down-payment assistance program. The assistance has become more popular this year, and commissioners want to fuel the program. However, with uncertain economic times, the requirements for the program have been tightened a bit, housing officials said.

About $2 million of existing county funds were transferred into a new Housing Development Authority fund. The money came from a variety of the county’s housing projects, including the Golden Eagle senior apartments and Riverview apartments in Eagle-Vail.

The transferring of the money doesn’t create additional funds or change the way money is approved to be spent, said County Attorney Bryan Treu.

However, putting the money in one fund will allow for easier accounting and better transparency of spending, commissioners said.

“To an extent this is housekeeping where money is being consolidated into a single fund so we can better see where it’s coming from and where it’s being spent,” said County Commissioner Peter Runyon.

The money will still be controlled by the Housing Authority, which is presided over by the county commissioners. The authority was created in April in order to manage the county’s affordable housing projects and allow the county to build homes and buy land. The authority is a legal tool that allows the county to borrow and lend money, as well as enter into contracts, officials said.

Who they talked to : Scott Russell, director of the Western Eagle County Metro Recreation District

What they talked about: The county approved the leasing of county-owned Miller Ranch land in Edwards for a new fieldhouse.

The $6.5 million project is getting off the ground soon ” Russell said construction is slated to start next April, and he hopes it will be open December 2009.

The fieldhouse will be 38,000 square feet of indoor volleyball, basketball and soccer fields that could also be used for inline skating and exhibition space, Russell said.

The plan is to schedule events that focus on children’s activities in the afternoon and adult leagues in the evening.

Other options that are still being considered include a Sheriff’s Office substation and a community meeting room.

The project will be partially funded by a $4-million bond that was passed by voters in 2002.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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