Sheridan County Commissioners are hosting a public meeting aimed at developing more affordable housing in the county on February 5.
In 2006, the county received mineral impact grant funds from the state due to a coal bed methane boom.
Those funds went to developers to create affordable housing and give consumers a discount, said Sheridan County Administrative Director Renee Obermueller. But if a buyer received that discount and later sold the house, they had to pay a predetermined amount back
"It's a perpetual program. We've built the funds in sales now to an amount that we would like to utilize the funds into another program," Obermueller said.
At the forum, the public will hear proposals from four developers with plans to create affordable housing in Ranchester, Dayton or Sheridan.
Obermueller said the area's economic growth-including gun manufacturer Weatherby's move to Sheridan and central vacuum manufacturer Vacutech's expansion- has brought challenges.
"So what we've found is that we don't have that affordable housing arena for first-time buyers or people who are coming in to work for these new companies. The housing just isn't there," she said.
After the presentations, county officials will work with other local governments to choose the best course of action. Obermueller said that may include the county continuing to hold onto the funds if they aren't satisfied with any proposals.
"They'll corrdinate that conversation and come to a decision whether or not they are going to fund any projects at all. Maybe they just decide they want to hold on. They may decide to fund one, they made decide to fund more than one," she said.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 5 at 5:30 pm at the Sheridan County Courthouse.
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