Funding for rec center to be on town's ballot

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— Bonnie Nadzam

Steamboat Today

The proposed recreation facility in Hayden will require a $5 million construction bond that will be put on the ballot in November, according to Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel.

Straebel told a recreation district meeting that if the plan is approved, annual property tax increases and family membership fees for Hayden residents would be $118 and $200, respectively.

Supporters of the proposed recreation center also are applying for grants to help make their vision a reality.

The committee recently received $7,000 from the Babson Carpenter Foundation, which has now donated a total of $12,000 to the cause.

The committee also is applying for a grant from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The grant could range anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500. Because YVCF does not want to engage itself in any political endeavors, it has asked that any potential grant money be used for architectural drawings only, Straebel said.

Finally, the committee is joining forces with Routt County to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant. The committee has yet to establish a dollar amount to request from GOCo, Straebel said.

Financial support from these groups have helped give the committee more validity in the community's eyes, committee member Connie Luppes said.

"It shows people really support what we're trying to do," she said.

There will be educational meetings for the general public and businesses of Hayden and Steamboat Springs in the next month. The committee hopes to hold at least two separate meetings, one in Hayden and one in Steamboat, in which businesses, community members, employers and landowners will be able to discuss ideas and learn about recreation center options. The committee has yet to set specific dates and times.

Joseph Drew, vice president of Hanifen, Imhoff in Denver attended the recreation district committee's last meeting on April 25. Drew is a public finance banker whose clients are cities, towns, school districts and special districts.

He attended the meetings to explain the capacity in which his company could aid the committee.

Primarily, Hanifen, Imhoff could provide services to the group to help it get the bond issue passed in November. Additionally, Drew would help to coordinate issuance of the construction bonds, and continue to work with the rec district board over the course of the years to come.

"Recreation financing is something we do a lot of; it isn't new to us. Park and rec centers really increase the quality of life. Buyers of real estate are always looking for amenities any given city has to offer. So although property taxes increase, so presumably, does property value." Drew said.

Hanifen, Imhoff would be compensated if and when the construction bonds are issued, and would be paid about one percent of the total bonds. This would be about $50,000 on a $5 million bond.

The committee continues to meet resistance from some Hayden residents who question the use of grant money and donations for a rec center.

The recreation district committee will meet again at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.

To contact Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4205 or e-mail bnadzam@amigo.net

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