Routt County resident Brett Brooks will get the privilege of using Hayden town water. After two months of debate in Hayden Town Board meetings, the trustees finally voted 3-2 to deny Brooks an out-of-town water tap, a move that most likely will mean that the town will not grant any other out-of-town taps.
Trustees Joe Schminkey and Tim Frentress supported Brooks' water tap. Trustee Chencho Salazar was absent. Frentress noted that Brooks would pay a $20 monthly surcharge to compensate for the tap.
The Hayden Planning Commission unanimously disapproved out-of-town water taps, and several of the same trustees who have spoken out against the taps stood their ground.
"I don't want to get into the whole moral side of this," Trustee Festus Hagins said. "Nothing against Mr. Brooks, I just think this opens the door to a whole bunch of other similar situations."
The trustees also discussed raising town water rates in 2004 to reach budget solvency. Town Clerk Lisa Johnston said raising the rates would help make the water fund solvent by 2007.
Recently, the town's water-production expenses have far exceeded revenues because of inaccurate water meters and leaks through old, corroded pipes and fittings throughout the town. To help this problem, the town also has applied for a grant to purchase new radio-read meters for all town residents and has begun replacing the most problematic water lines in town.
Johnston said the biggest users of town water will be hit the hardest by the increase, but average users will only see an increase of about 70 cents per 1,000 gallons.
In other business, the Hayden Town Board:
n heard from Winston and Associates Senior Associate Bob Perletz, who discussed, among several items, the change of scope in his work and the progress of the CommunityViz project. He said the project, which involves a 3-mile radius of the town, should be completed in January. The Town Board discussed possibly using another planner for some elements of the planning process because it might be cheaper but eventually decided to stick with Winston and Associates for the entire project because of simplicity in gathering and implementing facts and figures into the CommunityViz model;
n donated $5,400 to the city of Steamboat Springs for the regional bus system, up from a $4,200 donation last year. The city requested $5,877, but several trustees cited the tight 2004 budget and said the full amount was too much. Steamboat Springs Transportation Services Director George Krawzoff reported that the regional bus has seen an increase in passengers in 2003, and if the system did not receive donations from the towns it served, it would have to supplement its funding by either raising fares, decreasing stops or ultimately stopping the service altogether;
n donated $1,000 to the Hayden Lions Club, up from $600 last year. Lions Club President Don Johnson said last year club members donated out of their own pockets for special projects;
n donated $400 to the Hayden Girl Scouts, up from a $200 donation last year, in light of more girls involved in the program and their desire to participate in more activities;
n heard a presentation from Steamboat Springs Information Systems Manager Kent Morrison on Northwest Colorado Open Source eGov, a software development project for Web delivery of information and transactions. Morrison reported that if the town of Hayden chooses to partake in eGov, Hayden residents could log onto the Web site not only for basic information, but also to pay water bills, register pets or make other transactions with the town. Several trustees asked what the town should do because it already has begun a municipal Web site. Morrison said the easiest thing to do would be to talk with the town's current Web developer and decide where to go from there. Morrison said many elements of the town's current Web site could easily be implemented into the Open Source format.
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