Local water appeal gets boost

Board ranks Oak Creek water 2nd, airport sewer lines 3rd

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— The town of Hayden's appeal for state dollars to help replace its aging water lines got a boost from the county Tuesday.

Oak Creek, Hayden and county officials pitched their water and sewer projects to an Energy Impact Assistance grant review board comprised of the Board of County Commissioners, representatives of local mining companies and officials from towns in the county.

The review board gave highest priority to Hayden's request for $283,000 to lay new water lines along Washington Avenue and First Street and extend a new water main through Dry Creek Park south of the Routt County Fairgrounds.

Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel said he was pleased with the outcome, but Oak Creek and Routt County's funding requests were just as deserving of state aid.

The board's recommendation could help Hayden representatives in July when they pitch their project to a state committee that recommends how much money the town should get from Colorado's Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program.

The program helps to offset the costs of direct impacts of energy and mineral development on communities and indirect needs related to such development.

The nine-member Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Advisory Committee sends its recommendations to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which makes the final decision on who gets available funds.

Energy Impact Assistance funding comes from Colorado's severance tax on oil, gas, carbon dioxide, coal and metals and its share of royalties paid to the federal government for mining minerals and mineral fuels on federally owned land.

Municipalities and counties submit requests three times a year for their share of the state's energy and mineral impact funds.

Routt County traditionally prioritizes its funding requests when there is more than one request.

The review board gave second billing to Oak Creek's request. The town is asking for $300,000 to cover the expense of updating its water-treatment plant. The entire project, intended to bring the failing plant up to federal standards, will cost about $1.5 million.

"There are so many things that could go wrong, and we're lucky that they haven't," Mayor Cargo Rodeman said. "This isn't an option. It's something we have to do."

The county's $350,000 request to extend water and sewer lines at Yampa Valley Regional Airport was ranked third on the list of priorities. The airport needs to lengthen its water and sewer lines to accommodate future hangars for commercial and private jets.

The entire project will cost about $719,000.

Review board members did not share publicly their views about which request was most deserving of Energy Impact funds.

Instead, each member privately ranked the three projects on a scale of one to five in a number of categories. Their scores were tabulated, and the project that received the highest score --Hayden's plan to replace and extend its water lines -- was named the highest priority.

Hayden's proposal will cost $405,000. The town is putting up $122,000.

If the state decides not to support the plan, the town may have to delay the project a few years, Straebel said.

County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak stressed that each of the three projects had an equal shot at getting a favorable recommendation this summer with or without the review board's stamp of approval.



Oak Creek, Hayden and county officials pitched their water and sewer projects to an Energy Impact Assistance grant review board comprised of the Board of County Commissioners, representatives of local mining companies and officials from towns in the county.

The review board gave highest priority to Hayden's request for $283,000 to lay new water lines along Washington Avenue and First Street and extend a new water main through Dry Creek Park south of the Routt County Fairgrounds.

Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel said he was pleased with the outcome, but Oak Creek and Routt County's funding requests were just as deserving of state aid.

The board's recommendation could help Hayden representatives in July when they pitch their project to a state committee that recommends how much money the town should get from Colorado's Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program.

The program helps to offset the costs of direct impacts of energy and mineral development on communities and indirect needs related to such development.

The nine-member Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Advisory Committee sends its recommendations to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which makes the final decision on who gets available funds.

Energy Impact Assistance funding comes from Colorado's severance tax on oil, gas, carbon dioxide, coal and metals and its share of royalties paid to the federal government for mining minerals and mineral fuels on federally owned land.

Municipalities and counties submit requests three times a year for their share of the state's energy and mineral impact funds.

Routt County traditionally prioritizes its funding requests when there is more than one request.

The review board gave second billing to Oak Creek's request. The town is asking for $300,000 to cover the expense of updating its water-treatment plant. The entire project, intended to bring the failing plant up to federal standards, will cost about $1.5 million.

"There are so many things that could go wrong, and we're lucky that they haven't," Mayor Cargo Rodeman said. "This isn't an option. It's something we have to do."

The county's $350,000 request to extend water and sewer lines at Yampa Valley Regional Airport was ranked third on the list of priorities. The airport needs to lengthen its water and sewer lines to accommodate future hangars for commercial and private jets.

The entire project will cost about $719,000.

Review board members did not share publicly their views about which request was most deserving of Energy Impact funds.

Instead, each member privately ranked the three projects on a scale of one to five in a number of categories. Their scores were tabulated, and the project that received the highest score --Hayden's plan to replace and extend its water lines -- was named the highest priority.

Hayden's proposal will cost $405,000. The town is putting up $122,000.

If the state decides not to support the plan, the town may have to delay the project a few years, Straebel said.

County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak stressed that each of the three projects had an equal shot at getting a favorable recommendation this summer with or without the review board's stamp of approval.

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