Last week, at the Town of Norwood’s regular monthly meeting Aug. 12, representatives from the Telluride Foundation appeared before the board via Zoom to discuss a future housing development project in Norwood.
Paul Major, president and CEO of the Telluride Foundation, said his organization signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with San Miguel County, an agreement to work together on a county parcel of land (next to the library) going forward. According to Major, the MOU was imperative for the Telluride Foundation to start the planning process.
At this point, there is no definitive commitment to the land, including a planned number of houses. Still, Major said there is reason to be excited.
An Enterprise Rose Fellow, David Bruce, will come to Norwood this fall. His role will be to serve as liaison for the new Norwood housing development. He’s coming from the East Coast, where he’s currently finishing a project there.
Major said Bruce will arrive Oct. 1 and described him as a “critical part” of the housing team.
“We are privileged to have him,” Major told the board.
He added that the Telluride Foundation is working on a national grant, in collaboration with Enterprise Community Partners, the Department of Local Affairs, the Department of Housing, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and the Colorado Health Foundation. The Telluride Foundation has a meeting for the national grant on Aug. 24. Representatives will go before a panel of judges to present their ideas for the rural housing project, which would ideally be replicated then in Nucla and Ridgway.
If selected, the foundation could be eligible to receive $2 million in funding to support the development model. Still, Major said the foundation is planning to move forward with the housing plan, regardless.
The foundation is working with a modular home company. Major said the company’s work was of the highest standards, and the factories are in Phoenix and Salt Lake City. They build, ship and stack the housing materials. He said the process was very efficient for speed and cost.
When Bruce arrives from the East Coast, his first step will be to create a local committee of Norwood-based citizens, some of who are town and county officials, to advocate for the project. Major said Bruce will also garner input from the town on what community members want, such as how many houses should be for sale or rent, including the number of bedrooms.
April Montgomery, vice president of programs for the Telluride Foundation, expressed her enthusiasm during the meeting.
“I am thrilled to see this happening,” she told the board.
She also said that a recent VISTA volunteer in Norwood created a short movie, which featured community members stating their needs for housing in the area. She feels Norwood has been asking for those housing needs to be met.
Trustee Candy Meehan said she felt “extraordinary gratitude.”
“We’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time,” she said.
Trustee Jaime Shultz agreed and said she was happy to have “good news for a change.”
Bruce said he looked forward to landing in Norwood.
“I grew up in New Hampshire,” he said. “I have not spent much time in the mountains of Colorado. I’m looking forward to it.”