Latest News – February 3

Wanna Buy A Building? Cast Ballot Next Tuesday!

The Town of Saguache is holding a special election next Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 to gauge residents interest in buying the historic Dunn Building located downtown.

Town official bent to citizens’ request that the decision be taken to a vote of the people, at least those registered  to vote in town elections. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Town Hall located at 504 San Juan Avenue in Saguache.

Saguache Today will be there to bring you the results as they are reported. Stay Tuned & Vote!spacer

spacerThe Town of Saguache’s Historic Preservation Commission provided the following information regarding  the  Town of Saguache’s Purchase Grant for The Dunn Block Building

Visit http://www.townofsaguache.org for Full Report

The following is a list of questions that have frequently arisen at Public Meetings and information sessions concerning the purchase of the Dunn Block Building by the Town of Saguache.  We are providing this information with the sincere hope of alleviating some of the misconceptions concerning this project and with the added desire that you will vote “YES” to the purchase on February 7.

How Much Does the Building Cost and How Much Will I Have to Pay?

The purchase price for the Town of Saguache is $50,000. The Town has applied for and been awarded a grant from History Colorado that will provide $35,000. The Grant requires a $15,000 Cash Match which would be paid for by the Town’s Restoration and Renewal Fund.

How would the Town of Saguache Provide Matching Funds?

Funding for the Town’s portion of the Dunn Block purchase was set aside within the General Improvement fund in January, 2016, in the amount of $15,000.00. In the event these funds are not allocated to the Dunn Block the funds will remain in the General Improvement fund for other projects.

How Much Would the Restoration Cost and How Long Will it Take?

The 2008 Historic Structure Assessment prepared by local architect Ron McClure estimated $596,390.  The actual cost of restoration would be determined by use, which would in turn be determined by the Public.  The Town will host meetings to receive input and ideas.

The intent is to complete the restoration over a ten-year period, taking into account completion in phases.  Likewise, construction costs would be determined for each of these phases.  The first phase would be for planning.spacer

The historic Masonic building, known formally as The Dunn Building at 4th & San Juan in downtown Saguache might have a new owner at the end of next Tuesday, Feb,. 7

The historic Masonic building, known formally as The Dunn Building at 4th & San Juan in downtown Saguache might have a new owner the end of next Tuesday.

spacerWho Will Pay for Restoration After the Purchase?

The intent is to fully fund the project entirely through grant funding.  This also includes Matching Funds.

By approaching the project in phases, we would be able to apply for particular grants multiple times, as opposed to once.  We have already been in contact with some of these organizations regarding their level of interest in the project with overwhelmingly positive feedback.  Similar projects in our region have received full funding support for Matching Fund requirements through partnerships.

If there is a higher purpose (community use), we can work with private foundation funders (i.e. The Gates Family Foundation, The Boettcher Foundation, El Pomar Foundation). If there is a Town government use we can obtain grants from Colorado Department of Local Affairs.  There are also many other sources for funding. 

How Much Will I Have to Pay for the Purchase and Restoration?

The current estimate for the citizens of Saguache is $15,000 (Matching Funds for the purchase only).  To reiterate, this dollar amount is currently available in the Town R & R Fund. 

What Will the Building be Used for?

The Dunn Block building will be owned by the citizens of Saguache.  Therefore, its use will be decided by the Public, at public meetings dedicated to determining community need.  The end goal is to use the building to create long-term jobs.  During construction there will be job opportunities for skilled laborers and continuing job opportunities for businesses who move into the space.  There are several ways to accomplish this, including providing space for local and new entrepreneurs. 

A Few Other Quick Facts:

*Statistics provided by History Colorado’s records show that for every $1,000,000 spent on historic preservation, 32 full time jobs are created (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4).

*For every job created in Saguache, it is equivalent to creating 87 jobs in the Front Range.  Even a modest estimate for rehabilitation of the Dunn Block of $500,000 would anticipate the creation of 16 full time jobs (Sources: 5, 6).

*The Town’s Accountant, Pete Blair, was asked to review and advise the Town regarding purchase.  He recommends we do so because:

(1)    The Town immediately gains equity;

(2) His experience with other Municipalities who have gone through the historic restoration process – because the restoration is paid for by grants, have seen a dramatic increase in that initial equity upon project completion, especially when in a commercial district; and

(3) The process creates short term and long term jobs for locals and improved economic health.

Sources:

  1. State Historic Preservation Office
  2. History Colorado
  3. The Economic Power of Heritage and Place
  4. 2020 Colorado Statewide Preservation Plan
  5. Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA)
  6. Municipality Fiscal Health
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