Public meeting set for workforce housing solutions


By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce

Unfortunately, Pagosa Springs is not the only mountain community — or urban community for that matter — that is experiencing a housing calamity. Communities are looking at short-term rental moratoriums, restrictions, funding or tax assessment structures to assist funding long-term housing or housing programs or projects. Other communities are looking at available land that can be developed, partnerships, and the list continues. 

Some communities have developed housing authorities to manage low-income housing projects, deed-restricted housing projects, income from community-based funding streams and the like. One such organization is the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority. Executive Director Jennifer Kermode will be coming to Pagosa to discuss some housing successes in Gunnison Valley as well as facilitate a discussion on workforce housing solutions. 

The presentation will be held on Monday, Aug. 30, at 9 a.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center. This housing forum is to hear about success stories and those that may work in Pagosa, lessons learned and mistakes to try and avoid, and then a whole list of other important topics such as incentives, zoning regulations, deed restrictions, understanding the link between vacation rentals and long-term housing, and much more. The forum is open to the public and is a time for our community to learn, perhaps develop some next steps and move forward on a topic that is of great concern to many Pagosans. Please be a part of this very important community conversation.

Volunteers needed for ColorFest activities

Do you have some spare time on your hands? Have you been wanting to meet some new people and get engaged in the community? Have you tried to attend a ColorFest activity before but it was already sold out? Now is your opportunity to become involved in one or more of the Chamber’s ColorFest weekend activities. Here are a few options you can choose from. 

First is infrastructure of the event. Assistance in setting up, decorating and breaking it down is always needed. These duties take place before and after the actual festivities. We then have the Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival on Friday evening, Sept. 17, and the Bands and Brews Festival on Sept. 18. Volunteers are needed to serve food provided by our many fabulous restaurants, serve wine, serve beer by regional brewers, work at registration or entrance tables and also sell merchandise. We have an array of opportunities and skill levels. The easiest way to check out the volunteer opportunities is to go to: Sign up now and be a part of an important community event. 

One other volunteer opportunity is to crew for some of our hot air balloon pilots on Sept. 18 and 19 in the morning from about 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. The balloons will launch from the downtown area on Saturday and from the west side on Sunday morning. Balloon pilots look for assistance in helping launch the balloon the then “chase” the balloon as it descends. Knowledge of the various areas and access to streets is an important component in volunteering for this duty. If you are interested in being a “chase crew,” please contact the Chamber directly for more information at (970) 264-2360.