Steamboat Springs The town boundaries of Hayden may be expanding soon to encompass the Routt County Fairgrounds, the land south of town known as Dry Creek Park and 16 acres of land owned by the county south of the fairgrounds.
The Hayden Town Board discussed annexing the properties at Thursday night's meeting.
The board also discussed annexing several homes along Poplar Street that receive town services but do not pay property taxes to the town of Hayden.
Town Manager Rob Straebel was unsure of the legality of annexing property without the consent of landowners.
Incorporation into the town would involve a property tax increase to those annexed, as Hayden's taxes are higher than those paid by county residents.
"We will be proceeding with the annexation of Dry Creek Park and the fairgrounds if we get approval from the county," Straebel said. "We need to do more research before we can discuss further annexations after that."
The board also discussed the purchase of 1.285 acres for the construction of a trail from Hayden Elementary School toward U.S. Highway 40 following Dry Creek.
The town of Hayden currently owns property north of Dry Creek.
The 1.285 acres are owned in part by Pat Holderness, Bill and Ruth Gray and Kraig and Suzie Copeland.
The town budgeted $45,000 in 2003 for the land purchase and has been approved for a $68,000 grant from Colorado State Parks.
The trail will cost an estimated $170,000 to build, not including the purchase of the property.
The land was appraised at $34,848 per acre.
Recently, the town received the results of a wetlands and floodplain study of the trail site and discovered the proposed trail is located on a flood plain in the place where it crosses the Holderness property.
The board discussed moving the trail.
Trustee Richard "Festus" Hagins questioned why Steamboat Springs could build a bike trail near the Yampa River that flooded every year and the town of Hayden could not.
Straebel replied the town could keep the trail in its current location, but would be required to create a wetland somewhere else.
Trustee Joe Schminkey was concerned the town would pay so much for wetlands. The asking price is $44,779. Schminkey questioned that figure as the true value of the property. He believed it should have a lower value because it is in an area that cannot be developed.
Schminkey suggested the prices should be renegotiated.
Mayor Chuck Grobe agreed.
Town governments often pay way too much to property because people think they have deep pockets, he said. People need to keep in mind the town is doing this in the interest of the community to provide a service.
The three landowners Holderness, the Grays and the Copelands did not attend the meeting.
The board agreed to make the land purchase decision when more board members were present.
Only Schminkey, Hagins, Grobe and Trustee Lorraine Johnson attended Thursday night's meeting.
The board also agreed to hire an appraiser who specializes in trails.
Construction of Dry Creek Trail is slated for next summer.
In other business, Jill Altman gave an update for the Stokes Gulch Moto-X Club. She said the group has been gathering members. The club held a fundraiser at the Routt County Fair, she said. They did not make much money, but they did raise awareness.
More people joined the club and offered services and equipment to rebuild the Stokes Gulch track.
They cannot begin construction until they have permission to lease the land from the town. The board approved a two-year lease for the amount of $1 on the condition the group acquires a conditional use permit from the Routt County Planning Commission.
The board adopted the 2003 budget. Mill levies will remain constant for the third year in a row, Town Clerk Lisa Johnston said.
The Town Board recommended Lucy Rickman serve a five-year term on the West Routt Library Board. Before Rickman can officially join the library board, the Hayden School Board and the Routt County commissioners must also approve her.
The board approved Christmas bonuses to town employees $150 to fulltime employees and $75 to part-time employees.
The board heard the first reading of an ordinance to raise the base water rate by $1.80. The raise will go into effect in February after a second reading of the ordinance at the Jan. 2 town board meeting.
The Dec. 19 board meeting was cancelled to allow trustees to attend Hayden Elementary's Christmas pageant.
Hayden Police Officer Gordon Booco will have hand surgery on Dec. 16 and will be recovering for eight to 12 weeks. Booco sustained the injury while on duty. He was restraining a man who was trying to harm himself.
The Hayden Police Department is still working to define the term "livestock" to determine if chickens should be allowed in town limits.