Board puts brakes on annexation

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In the ever-growing town of Hayden, Mayor Chuck Grobe has decided to "take a step back" in the town's plans to annex the Routt County Fairgrounds. He wants to make sure Hayden residents and the Town Board are in full support of the move before going any further.

"Most of the communication was driven by (former Town Manager) Rob Straebel and (County Manager) Tom Sullivan," Grobe said. "I want to have a discussion with the Town Board to make sure this plan is not shot down in the end. We've put a lot of time and effort into it."

Routt County also has put significant work into the annexation, signing a formal intergovernmental agreement supporting the move and working with its legal staff and the fair board to adjust zoning accordingly, Sullivan said.

"If the town wants to back away from it, the county commissioners will have no problem with it," Sullivan said.

If the town does not go through with the annexation of the fairgrounds, the annexation plans for a planned multisport park south of the fairgrounds, called Dry Creek Park, would be altered and have to go through the Routt County Planning Commission, Sullivan said. The county's intergovernmental agreements with the town are written with the assumption that the town would be annexing the fairgrounds, he said.

Grobe said the town probably would proceed with its annexation plans, but holding a discussion as an agenda item will ensure that everyone's voices are heard.

"It's a big chunk of land right in the middle of Hayden," Grobe said. "If we didn't annex it, it would be just a big island. But this could create a lot of heated debate in the community, so I want the voices to be heard.

"Most of what's going on now is me getting my feet on the ground as town manager until we get a new one in place."

If the Town Board agrees to move on with the annexation process, the fairgrounds could be in the town's municipal boundaries as early as February, Grobe said.

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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