By RYAN SHERIDAN
Daily Press writer
A combination of increased occupancy and higher expenses have led to a refinancing proposal as a solution to a budget deficit for the Moffat County Housing Authority.
Housing Authority Executive Director Keith Antonson has made revisions and recalculations for the 2002 budget for the two senior citizen residences, and is working toward refinancing the two buildings to bring the operations out of a deficit. The revised budgets for Sunset I and II on Ledford Street would save the county $29,438.08 if approved. The Moffat County Commissioners will review the proposed budgets for the Sunset Meadows facilities at Monday's board meeting.
"The bottom line on all of this is that my goal was to come up with a budget that asked for no more money from the general fund or the county, to have everything covered internally," Antonson said. "If these budgets are approved, that goal will be a success."
Income increased for both buildings because of higher-than-anticipated occupancy rates, but that also accounted for higher expenses to maintain, operate and staff the facilities. Lower utility costs helped balance those expenditures. Sunset I, located at 633 Ledford St., will save $18, 512.08 in its revised budget for 2002. Sunset II at 595 Ledford St. will save $10,926. But both facilities are running at a deficit, combining to be $74,330 in the red.
Those deficits could soon be erased when the buildings are refinanced with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. The financing for the facilities will become a Mark-to-Marketing program, in which debt load and loan payments are reconfigured based on the rental market of the area.
"We last refinanced in 1983, and now that's almost 20 years ago," Antonson said. "Everything has become inflated since then, and like all government programs now, we're in a bind.
"A study will be done to evaluate what the market rate for renting a one-bedroom apartment is, and our loan and the payments will be based on the new rent rate," he said. "The good thing about this program is it not only sets payments that match our revenue, it allows us to allocate money to cover the cost of replacing machinery or repairing the building, for upkeep and maintenance. My suspicions are that we will close the deal this March.
"To do this we have to commit to making low-income housing available to senior citizens for the long term. That's what Moffat County wants to do anyway, to provide that opportunity for our seniors."
According to Antonson, the only work on the buildings scheduled for the immediate future is $4,400 in new fluorescent fixtures, and $6,600 for ceiling fans for each apartment. Antonson is investigating grant and Foundation funds to handle other projects, such as a new roof for Sunset I and replacing the senior van.
The board will also:
Review the use of, and projects accomplished at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, and discuss the fee schedule for 2002 with Bill Sixkiller.
Hear a Safety Committee report on infection control provisions, policy and procedures from John Furman.