Audit called over water leaks

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The town of Hayden is experiencing "substantial water loss," Town Manager Rob Straebel said.

When looking at the amount of clean, filtered water produced by the Hayden Water Treatment Plant compared with the amount of water metered, there is "a fairly large discrepancy," Straebel said.

The reason for loss has Hayden officials scratching their heads. The loss could be attributed to leaks in old water mains; unlawful, nonmetered usage; or old, dysfunctional meters, several of which the town already is working to replace, Straebel said.

The Town Board will discuss conducting an audit to help find the source or sources of the water loss at its next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today at Town Hall.

Straebel said he wanted to have engineers study the town's water usage to create a water-distribution map that will allow public works officials to better see how and where town water is being distributed.

"Seeing as how we raised the water rates, we want to hold our end of the bargain and do what's best," Straebel said.

The Town Board also will discuss a trustee's proposal to amend an ordinance for out-of-town water taps. Under the current ordinance, no one outside of municipal boundaries can tap into town water mains. Yampa Valley Regional Airport, however, as well as a few residential exceptions, do tap into town water.

A new resolution to go before the board is proposing that out-of-town residents who live or build within 200 feet of town water mains can tap into the mains.

But, as residents have come before the Town Board requesting such privileges, trustees have said that tapping into town water from the county can cause maintenance problems.

Trustee Ken Gibbon said the "spider web" of outside taps could be troublesome when future developments are built.

In other business, the Town Board will discuss a ballot initiative proposed for the November election that will request voter approval of the "Routt County Museum and Heritage Fund," a tax increase that will support local historic preservation groups.

Also, the Town Board will review the Planning Commission's recommendations for regulating activities at the Routt County Fairgrounds as a preliminary step in the town's plan to annex the fairgrounds in the fall.

The Planning Commission reviewed a list of about 20 to 25 activities that could take place at the fairgrounds, and it classified which events would require case-by-case approval.

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