Hayden rejects track proposal

Town turns down 1.14-acre parcel offered by School Board

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— The Hayden Town Board on Thursday rejected a proposal from the Hayden School Board for a new track and football field.

The School Board offered to give the town a 1.14-acre parcel of land at the intersection of Breeze Basin Boulevard, Third Street and Poplar Avenue if the town would agree to build an eight-lane track and football field at Dry Creek Park.

After meeting in executive session, the Town Board turned down the offer and stuck with its original proposal of $54,600 for the property. The Town Board is asking the School Board to reply by the next Town Board meeting June 19.

The Town Board needs to acquire the property in order to realign the dangerous three-way intersection at the site.

The safety of children walking to and from Hayden Valley Elementary School is of primary concern at the site, Town Board members have said.

"According to (School Board President) Kurt (Frentress), the top priority is a track," Trustee Joe Schminkey said. "Our priority is to make that intersection safe."

Frentress and school Superintendent Scott Mader have said a track and football field would be easy to implement at Dry Creek Park.

Their suggestion was to build the track and football field in the place of one of two planned soccer fields.

The Town Board has balked at the cost associated with building the athletic facilities.

Schminkey said building a track and field with spectator seating would take five acres, and the town is not interested in a "five to one (acre) deal."

"I understand they're trying to do what's best for the school," Mayor Pro-Tem Chencho Salazar said. "But I don't think their offer would be in the best interest of the town. It's not our money, it's your money."

In other business:

n The Town Board approved spending $2,160 to gravel the west parking lot at the baseball diamonds.

n The board earmarked the annual $2,000 payment from Triple Crown Sports for the project.

n The Town Board approved a 36-month contract with NC Telecom for wireless DSL service in Town Hall, the Public Works facility and the Hayden Heritage Center. State funding will pay for all installation and monthly charges associated with the expanded bandwidth.

n The Town Board appointed Richard Bush to the Hayden Recreation Board for a three-year term ending June 5, 2006.

n The Town Board approved the closure of South Walnut Street for the town-wide "flea market" June 14, and the closure of a section of Third Street for the second annual Hayden Valley Summerfest July 5.

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