Rodeman hired for grant writing

Consultant says more study required on Sierra View impact

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After the Oak Creek Town Board agreed two weeks ago to pay Mayor Cargo Rodeman to write grant proposals for $25 per hour up to 32 hours per month, the board received some criticism for that decision at Thursday night's meeting.

Routt County Commissioner and Oak Creek resident Nancy Stahoviak spoke during audience participation about a letter Rodeman wrote to her in response to a letter Stahoviak had sent to Rodeman. According to Stahoviak, Rodeman wrote in the letter that Stahoviak's comments about her being paid for the position were "rude" and "accusatory."

Stahoviak said her letter to Rodeman was not intended to be either rude or accusatory but to state the mayor violated a statute by attempting to persuade other board members to vote to pay her for the position. Stahoviak said she listened to the tape from the last Town Board meeting and heard Rodeman attempt to persuade other board members.

Stahoviak also said the board should have sought other more experienced, more qualified applicants for an official grant-writer position.

Still, most board members supported Rodeman.

"I'm tired of all the ... complaining," Trustee Bill Paxton said. "Let's let Cargo do the work."

"We don't need anyone else," Trustee J. Elliot said. "Cargo can do it."

Trustee Clyde Moore agreed.

A letter from the town attorney Bob Weiss stated that hiring Rodeman as a subcontractor was legal. Because the Town Board's vote at the last meeting hired Rodeman as a "town employee," the Town Board voted Thursday night to amend that decision to state that Rodeman would be paid as a subcontractor and thus write an itemized invoice of all the tasks and hours she has worked up to 32 hours per month.

In other business, consultant Terrill Knight came before the Town Board to present his findings from the Sierra View Development Group's impact study on the Sierra View residential subdivision.

Knight said the impacts were "not addressed adequately at this point" and that the developers failed to cover certain topics such as roads and sidewalks. He said he was not trying to put down the developers but trying to help them and the town together.

The Town Board agreed with Knight that it would take some additional time to complete a comprehensive impact study. Knight said he should have the study completed by the July 21 Town Board meeting.

In other business, the Town Board denied a request from grant developer Joe Bartasius to have tap fees lowered for a six-unit apartment building downtown.

Bartasius said he wanted to make the apartments affordable in the $600 a month range, and lowering the fees would help him do that. However, Public Works Director Jim Photos said if the town lowered the fees for Bartasius, it would have to do that for everyone who wanted a similar waiver in the future.

The Town Board also voted to lease the Old Town Hall for an indefinite period to the Historical Society of Oak Creek and Phippsburg, a move that may help the organization win grant proposals so it can turn the building into a museum.

On a lighter note, about 12 members of the South Routt Community Players performed a singing dance routine to entertain those in attendance and to help their requests for a donations. After the performance, the Town Board voted to donate $500 from its general fund and $500 from the Youth Council Fund.

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