Ignacio housing issues discussed with county commissioners

Lack of housing in Ignacio was among the issues town trustees discussed with the La Plata County Commissioners at a March 13 dinner meeting at the casino.

Commissioner Julie Westendorff, a real estate agent, said she has had Ignacio houses to sell, but "A lot of them are old and leak heat."

Trustee Cecilia Robbins said her son bought a house in Bayfield because of the cost to fix up houses available in Ignacio. "It's hard to find a house in Ignacio that's vacant and that meet their (bank loan) qualifications," she said.

Robbins continued that her grown daughter and son-in-law live with her because, "They couldn't afford Durango, and they couldn't find anything in Ignacio."

County Manager Joe Kerby commented, "One of the things when we are trying to hire someone from outside the county is the cost of housing. We encourage them to look outside of Durango. We have one who bought in Bayfield and one at Vallecito."

Robbins said, "Another frustration is trying to keep utility rates down."

She explained that water, sewer, gas, and trash are all on one bill. "Some are $250. Some are really high, sewer especially," she said. The current sewer base rate is almost $66 per month.

Town sewage is treated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. The treatment plant has much more capacity than is now being used, meaning each customer has to pay more to cover costs, Robbins said.

"The only answer is to have more housing," she said.