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The city of Sedona has an opportunity to be the first to address affordable housing, but with a $925,000 price tag, Sedona City Council doesn’t want to jump in too soon.

By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

The city of Sedona has an opportunity to be the first to address affordable housing, but with a $925,000 price tag, Sedona City Council doesn’t want to jump in too soon.

Council voted 6-1 Wednesday, Nov. 14, to extend the option period for an eight-unit apartment building on 0.91 acres at 165 Sombart Lane to Thursday, Nov. 29. The original deadline was Thursday, Nov. 15.

Vice Mayor Jerry Frey voted against the motion and said he does not support purchasing this particular property.

If purchased, the city plans to use the property and possibly the existing units for affordable housing.

Before council commits to $914,000 — $22,000 would be deducted from the price for back sewer fees — some members want more information.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions right now,” Mayor Pud Colquitt said. “I’ve got to have these questions answered.”

In the next two weeks, city staff will evaluate the building to determine if any environmental issues need to be addressed, according to City Manager Eric Levitt.

Colquitt said she’d love for the city to be able to provide affordable housing but it’s not that simple.

“My big issue is going to be can we afford it,” Colquitt said.

Frey said $914,000 is too much money.

“If we knocked off $100,000, I’d be happy to purchase the site,” Frey said. “We’re talking about an old building.”

Frey said he supports addressing affordable housing but purchasing this property isn’t the way to go about it.

The building, according to Frey, was built in 1976, lending it to a slew of concerns regarding building materials and plumbing. Frey doesn’t feel the structure and property are worth almost $1 million.

“The building is basically a tear-down,” Frey said.

Colquitt said whether the building would be refurbished or torn down is among unanswered questions.

Money is an issue Colquitt said that is also giving her reservations.

“This is the city’s money and we’re trying to be as frugal as possible,” Colquitt said. Council needs to consider if this is something it should be doing now.

Frey said he also doesn’t think council or the city has had enough time to think about the deal.

“I feel uncomfortable with how we’re getting rushed into it,” Frey said. He wants time to look at the quality of the building and negotiate the price.

Displacement of residents currently living in some of the units also concerns both Colquitt and Frey.

According to Levitt, some of the units are occupied and the city doesn’t know if the current tenants meet affordable housing eligibility standards.

The city doesn’t want to kick tenants out but it’s too early to tell what would be done, Levitt said.

If the property is purchased, council’s decision on what to do with the building could also affect current tenants.

Council continues discussion on whether to purchase the site Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Trista Steers can be reached
at 282-7795, Ext. 124, or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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