Fort Lewis College announced the start of its Employee Mortgage Assistance program to ensure employees are able to buy homes in Durango. 70% of polled voters are in favor of creating a library district to fund the Durango Public Library and tickets are now on sale for the annual Durango Rocks event recognizing local businesses, individuals, and nonprofits for the work they are doing in the county. By Hannah Robertson This story is sponsored by Pop's Truck & RV Center and Serious Texas BBQ
Tickets for Durango Rocks are on sale to celebrate and honor local businesses and locals for the work they've done within the community. Fort Lewis College has launched a mortgage program to assist its employees with housing costs in Durango. And city and county residents show support for the creation of a library district to help fund Durango Public Library. You're watching the "Local News Roundup", brought to you by Pop's Truck and RV Center, and Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, I'm Connor Shreve. The annual Durango Rocks event hosted by the Durango Chamber of Commerce will be March 9th this year. Tickets are now available for the event which honors nonprofits, community members, and local businesses making a positive difference in La Plata County. The ceremony begins at 5:00 PM at Fort Lewis College. Find more information about the honorees and tickets at durangobusiness.org. Fort Lewis College, in partnership with Homes Fund, has launched its employee mortgage assistance program. The program, which began February 2nd, aims to address issues that Fort Lewis College employees face when it comes to home ownership in Durango, where the average cost of a home is almost $200,000 above the national average. The program provides financial assistance through loans of up to $70,000 per household for use in buying a house to encourage Fort Lewis College employees to stay local. The college has also reserved six town homes at the current Animas City Park Overlook project for current employees to purchase prior to the homes going on the open market. Learn more about Fort Lewis College and employment opportunities at fortlewis.edu. A survey of 465 City and county residents in fall of 2022 showed 70% in favor of the creation of a library district to fund Durango Public Library. A library district allows the library to be treated as its own entity and enables the funding of the library through mill levies and other taxable sources. In the case of Durango, the library district would be funded by a property tax increase of about $180 on a $700,000 home, generating approximately $3.65 million for the library. Currently, the library's funding comes from the city county joint sales tax which is also used to address issues like homelessness and affordable housing. With the creation of a library district, current library funds from the city county joint sales tax could be directed to other projects as the library will have its own source of funding. The next step for the project is to create an advisory group to begin the planning process to add the measure to a ballot including public outreach and education campaigns. Learn more about the library district and view a presentation on the City of Durango's website. Check current library hours and service offerings online at the library's website. Thank you for watching this edition of the "Local News Roundup." I'm Connor Shreve.