Funds approved

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— Hayden was approved this week to receive $239,500 in Energy Impact funds, the full amount requested by the town.

A letter dated Oct. 25 was sent to Hayden Mayor Chuck Grobe from Department of Local Affairs Executive Director Bob Brooks, announcing the decision.

The town of Hayden was the sole grant applicant from Routt County during this funding cycle.

The money will cover the expense of realigning the Breeze Basin Boulevard and Third Street intersection.

The two streets meet near the town's elementary school and the Routt County Fairgrounds in such a way that cars must edge out into traffic to determine whether it is safe to proceed. The intersection is heavily used by children walking to school and has been considered dangerous for years, Town Manager Rob Straebel said in an interview this summer.

The Town Board looked at draft plans for the realignment in October 2001 and agreed to apply for the funds in May 2002.

The town plans to begin the project next spring, Straebel said.

The project will involve widening the right of way from 60 feet to 90 feet and adding left turn lanes in all four directions.

The only thing left for the town, is the acquisition of a 1.14-acre piece of land owned by the school district.

"Currently, this is

our biggest obstacle," Straebel said.

Months ago, the land was appraised at $50,000, School Superintendent Scott Mader said. The cost of the land purchase was not included in the grant proposal.

Originally, the town and the school district discussed a land swap for town-owned property along Washington Avenue that the school would use for the expansion of its running track to the regulation eight lanes.

"That was our initial discussion," Mader said. "Now we are looking at land that the city owns west of town in the Dry Creek Park area and talking with the town about doing something together.

"That location would be more accessible to the community," Mader said. "We haven't started negotiations over how we will work that whole thing out."

The Hayden School Board meets on Nov. 20 and will decide at that time which direction it wants to go, he said.

"At this point, it is in our hands, in our board's hands," Mader said.

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