Update on ice rink roof tonight

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Although volunteer efforts to put a roof over Oak Creek's ice hockey rink have begun, the town is tying up the project's loose ends to meet its goal of finishing the roof by Thanksgiving.

The town has to raise up to $10,000 to cover the cost of the project, which increased with the cost of steel, and also has to buy or trade for a small parcel of land that should enable the town to get proper building permits for the project.

At tonight's Oak Creek Town Board meeting, an update on the project's progress will be given.

Although the town has submitted plans for the rink to the Routt County Regional Building Department, those plans are not complete, and therefore the town does not have final permits to build, said Carl Dunham, acting chief building official.

Because the town contracts oversight of building projects to the building department, the Town Board has the final say in whether a project that is not properly permitted or varies from the town's building code can be built, Dunham said. In this case, the town can decide to allow variances from its code and can choose not to halt its building project even though final permits have not been issued.

In a similar case, the city of Steamboat Springs had to adjust its codes to build the judging tower at the ski jumps, Dunham said.

Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said the Town Board is aware that it has started to build without the proper permits but that those permits could be in hand soon. She said that ideally, the property line issue could be taken care of by the end of this week or early next week, with a permit issued soon after that, as detailed plans for the project already have been made and submitted.

The town needs the extra 20-by-200-foot piece of land to be sure the new open-air rink, as well as the snow slide from its roof, are on town property, Rodeman said. The town tried to get the extra land when the project was first discussed, but recently those efforts were complicated, she said.

All work to erect the roof is being done by volunteers, so it has been vital to keep the project moving, Rodeman said.

The strip of land could be purchased for about $2,000, or possibly could be traded for a similar piece that adjoins the same landowner's property, she said.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said there are a lot of counties across the nation that do not have building codes, but that codes are important to have oversight and make sure that public health and safety are not compromised.

Monger said the county's building department services are contracted by Oak Creek, so the county is working to assist the town on this project. He said he thinks the town is working to get the permit issues taken care of, putting the county in a "good place" with the town.

The bulk of the project to build a roof on the hockey rink is funded through a Great Outdoors of Colorado grant, with additional funds coming from the town, the Oak Creek Hockey Association, and other donations.

The Oak Creek Town Board meets at 7 p.m. today at Town Hall.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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