Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Hayden The Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Advisory Committee in Silverton on Friday voted unanimously for full funding of a $239,000 Energy Impact grant to the town of Hayden for the realignment of Breeze Basin and Third Street, a busy intersection near the elementary school.
The two streets are positioned in such a way that drivers must pull partly into the intersection before they know if it is safe to proceed.
Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel and Mayor Chuck Grobe drove the seven hours to Silverton to present their safety concerns for the children walking to and from school across the intersection, and the need for a change.
Grobe took two days off from work to make the trip. They were joined by County Commissioner Dan Ellison, who came to show his support for the grant proposal from the audience.
Straebel said the presentation lasted only five minutes and the board had no questions.
The recommendation for full funding will be sent to Bob Brooks, at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, who will make the final decision.
Energy Impact grants are funded by monies from state severance taxes on the oil, gas and coal industries.
The program is designed to offset the impact of these industries on the surrounding communities.
"We are one of the most heavily impacted towns in the state," Grobe said. "Routt County has 28 percent of the state's coal mining and among other things Hayden has to deal with the 24-hour truck traffic."
A decision will be handed down in the next three or four weeks, Straebel said.
If Hayden's proposal is approved, construction will begin next spring.
But the town must first acquire 1.14 acres of land from the Hayden School District before improvements can begin.
Straebel said the town has been negotiating with the school district for a possible land swap. The school district has been discussing the need to expand the high school's running track and would need to gain land on Washington Street to carry out its current design.
"We have been investigating the negative impact on the residents of that area and I'm not sure if it is feasible as far as utilities," Straebel said. If it doesn't work out, he said, the town has discussed the possibility of a running track at town-owned Dry Creek Park.