Board seeks to repair, expand town waterlines

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Dana Haskins has lived at 575 West Washington St. "forever."

In the past five years of her so-called infinite residence, she has seen the water main across the street break twice. Both times it created a small lake in the road but never caused her any real problems.

"It attracted kids from all over town," Haskins said. "They would ride their bikes through it. They loved it." She said she even diverted some of the water to her flowerbed.

But the temporary water park came at a cost -- thousands of dollars -- paid for by the taxpayers of Hayden, Town Manager Rob Straebel said.

The old Washington Street waterline is one of several problematic main lines responsible for the town's high water-loss rate. In 2002, the town lost about 25 percent of its treated water, Public Works Director Frank Fox said in July.

The Hayden Town Board will consider replacing and adding a total of 3,100 linear feet of waterline at its next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall. Along with repairing the 8-inch Washington Street main, the board will look at extending a water main 1,500 linear feet to the proposed Dry Creek Park.

"Extending the water main could be seen as a springboard for future development of Dry Creek Park," Straebel said.

Because the water main would cross Routt County property at the fairgrounds, the town must get approval from the county for a 20-foot-wide easement.

To help fund the $405,000 project, the town has applied for a $283,000 Energy Impact Assistance grant, Straebel said. A state advisory board for the Energy Impact Assistance Program voted unanimously to recommend full funding of the town's request. A final decision on the grant is up to Mike Beasley, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs, said advisory board member and Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak.

Stahoviak said the advisory board recommended Hayden receive full funding because, overall, the town "definitely experiences impacts from energy and mineral development through coal mining and the power plant. (The town) always (does) a good job of making that case ... so the board was comfortable in making its recommendation."

Stahoviak said a final decision probably would be made by the end of August.

Energy Impact Assistance funds come from taxes paid by the coal, oil and gas industries.

For any grant request, the town of Hayden typically tries to match 30 percent of a project's funding. With full funding for the water main project, the town would pay $122,000, which equals 30.1 percent.

The town is advertising for bids for the project and will have a bid opening Aug. 29.

Straebel said with the completion of the water-main extension and funding approval from Great Outdoors Colorado, construction of the park's first soccer field could begin next year.

In other business:

n Ben Beall, chairman of the Emerald Mountain Partnership, will give an update on the partnership's work with the Bureau of Land Management to have small, rural BLM parcels sold so that the BLM can buy portions of Emerald Mountain to prevent them from being developed in the future. An opposing group, the "Citizens to Save Public Lands," which said its members use the BLM parcels, will present counter arguments.

n The Town Board will consider appointing a Hayden representative to the newly formed Yampa Valley Airport Commission. Mayor Chuck Grobe sits on the airport's Steering Committee, and would be "a logical choice," Straebel said. Straebel said participation is key for the advisory board, so the Town Board wants to appoint a person who won't miss meetings.

n County residents whose property lines are 200 feet from town water mains may be able to tap into those mains if the town board approves a resolution that was tabled from the last meeting. A moratorium states that town water is a privilege for town residents, but some board members have said they feel that certain exceptions could be made.

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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