Hayden gets approval for funds

Money would go toward replacing asbestos tile and carpet in schools

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The meeting could not have gone any better, Hayden Schools Superintendent Scott Mader said about the school district's appearance before the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program State Advisory Committee on Friday.

The advisory committee voted unanimously to recommend full funding of $114,000 for replacing carpet and asbestos tile in Hayden's high school and middle school buildings. The director of the Department of Local Affairs will make the final funding decision.

Hayden School Board member Patty Bruchez and Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger attended the meeting, and Monger discussed the impacts coal mining has on Routt County, Mader said. The extent of the impact energy and mineral exploration has on a county weighs heavily in how a grant request is looked at, Energy Impact Advisory Committee member Nancy Stahoviak said recently.

Monger's presentation had an impact, but the photos the school district brought of the torn, duct-taped, 20-year-old carpet "really swayed them," Mader said.

"It really clinched the vote for us," he said.

The advisory committee appreciated that the old carpet is so old, it could foster growth of unhealthy molds and bacteria, which contribute to increased incidents of upper respiratory illnesses, Mader said. Also, the carpet is glued to vinyl asbestos tiles, so to replace it, the tiles need to be removed, which would require a team that has experience dealing with asbestos.

If the school district receives the full grant amount, it would provide an approximately $40,000 match for the project, Mader said. Also, the replacement would take place over the summer, at the same time as the replacement of the elementary school's carpet.

"It would fit really well with the elementary carpet project," Mader said. "If somebody bid on both jobs, we would probably get a better rate. So, we'd be looking pretty good bid-wise."

The Hayden School District already got a grant from the Colorado Department of Education for replacement of carpet in the elementary school.

For each funding cycle of the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program, the county typically fields several requests to the statewide program. For this particular cycle, the school district's request was the only one from Routt County.

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