Town manager can’t afford to live in town
DILLON – The town manager of Dillon knows firsthand about the area’s lack of affordable housing.Devin Granbery is buying a home in nearby Dillon Valley after failing to find a single-family house he could afford in Dillon, where he said the prices generally run from $700,000 to $800,000.The Dillon Town Council recently passed an ordinance authorizing Granbery to live outside the town limits.”It really was a supply and an affordability issue,” Mayor Barbara Davis said.Granbery, who started as town manager in April, said there were about 10 housing units on the market when he began looking and most were condominiums. He said he and his wife wanted a single-family home.Granbery said his experience underscores a problem many communities in the state share.Housing prices have been an issue in Colorado’s mountain and resort towns for years.”In Snowmass Village, they have to provide housing for the managers because there’s not a chance they can afford to buy anything there,” he said.The current Breckenridge town manager received help with his down payment and a $20,000 contribution from the town. Frisco covered the moving costs for the town manager.Silverthorne manager Kevin Batchelder said he negotiated a $150,000 interest-free loan from the town to buy a home when he moved from Minnesota in 2000. The town holds a second deed of trust on his home and is earning equity on its portion.Batchelder said his contract is similar to ones with managers in other West Slope resort communities, including Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Granby, Telluride and Crested Butte.The Dillon Town Council approved a $20,000 loan to Granbery to help with the down payment. After two years, $5,000 of the loan will be forgiven and the entire debt will be wiped out if Granbery stays on the job five years.