Town Board to hear public comments on 2005 budget

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The Hayden Town Board will hold a public hearing Monday before finalizing the town's 2005 budget.

Board members have discussed possible capital improvement projects to pursue, as well as other budget-related issues -- including employee salary increases and donation requests -- during several work sessions.

"They'll be doing a lot of work, getting some things done that are long overdue," Town Manager Russ Martin said about proposed projects for the next year. "I'm pleased, being that it's the first budget I've directed here."

The latest budget draft is available for review at Hayden Town Hall.

Also Monday, Martin will give the board more information about changing the town's water and tap fee ordinance.

The town uses an EQR (equivalent residential unit) system, which is based on a standard residence tap fee of $5,700. Fees for commercial taps are calculated as multiple EQRs depending on factors contributing to overall use.

Town Board members have discussed changing to a different system because the EQR calculation in a commercial application was more expensive than expected.

To prevent discouraging commercial development, Martin suggested the town keep its current ordinance but negotiate fees with large-scale commercial operations.

He also proposed including one set of bathrooms -- typically public restrooms -- in the first EQR for other businesses. A 1,500-square-foot building, for example, typically requires two EQRs. Adjustments to the ordinance would make it so the business only required one EQR.

The Town Board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.

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