The Town of Jackson recently teamed up with Teton County, Wyo. to build Snow King Apartments. This will be employee housing for government workers.
The town began building government housing about 30 years ago. Roxanne Robinson has worked as the assistant town manager in Jackson for the last 15 years but has worked in total for the town for 30 years.
She said they began building government housing when the town purchased a few homes to do a street realignment. That project was postponed, and those homes became employee housing. The need for employee housing has only grown since then.
“Over the years, we’ve just accumulated more,” Robinson said. “What we have come to realize is that if we don’t have employee housing units, it’s really hard to recruit and retain employees.”
Robinson said the project to build Snow King Apartments began when the town decided to rebuild the old park maintenance facility. The park facility was old and lacking office space. During the planning process of the park facility, the current parks and recreation director thought about how to resolve some of the employee housing strain.
“While we were planning that, you know, it had been proposed several times and didn’t move forward, but once the park and rec director thought about putting employee housing units on top of it, then it gained momentum and support in the community,” Robinson said.
Building enough government employee housing has been an issue for the town because of the need for emergency and government employees to be living in Jackson, especially during the winter months. In Jackson Hole, finding housing is especially difficult. According to the Town of Jackson website, the federal government owns 97% of the land in the county. This leaves few and expensive options for employees trying to find a place to live.
“We need to have those employees living in the valley in order to provide the law enforcement, snow removal, water and sewer infrastructure… those critical duties that we really need someone living here for,” Robinson said.
The Snow King Apartments will have 26 new units, including nine one-bedroom apartments and 17 studio apartments. The studio apartments will have six-month leases and are anticipated to house START bus drivers and other seasonal employees. The park maintenance facilities will be on the first floor and basement, with housing on the upper two floors.
More information and a virtual tour of the Snow King apartments can be found at townofjackson.com.