Hayden looks at 2006 budget

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Hayden should have at least 5 percent more sales tax revenue in 2005 than in 2004, and town officials expect those dollars will continue to increase next year.

Hayden's proposed 2006 budget projects more than $840,000 in sales tax revenue by the end of next year. The Town Board will consider adopting the budget after a public hearing tonight.

Town Manager Russ Martin expects revenues this year will crush early projections, coming in between $810,000 and $820,000.

Although sales tax growth from Hayden businesses is healthy, revenues from Yampa Valley Regional Airport have been most dramatic. Those funds have made up almost 40 percent of total sales tax dollars since 2004 compared with about 30 percent in 2002, Martin said.

Sales tax marks the most significant increase in general fund revenues ---- not counting possible grants -- in the proposed budget.

The town has requested $1 million in grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program to help with improvements to Dry Creek Park and realignment of Routt County Road 37.

The Dry Creek Park project will involve building multi-use fields, concessions, bathrooms and storage facilities. The town plans to dip into reserve funds to help match any GOCo grants.

To accommodate planned growth south east of Hayden, town officials are working with developers, Routt County and other parties to straighten and move the "L" section of the C.R. 37 from U.S. Highway 40.

Developers of residential and commercial developments will contribute to costs of construction. Hayden is hoping an Energy Impact grant will pay for most of the town's portion of the cost.

Hayden officials also hope to connect sidewalks between Third and Sixth streets and have requested a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation for that project.

Improvements to the water and sewer system make up other significant expenditures in the 2006 budget draft.

Those include a $170,000 water line replacement project in the trailer park off Poplar Street and a $50,000 sewer line replacement between Poplar and Chestnut streets.

Tap fees from new development will pay for those projects, Martin said.

Copies of the proposed 2006 budget are available at Hayden Town Hall.

Also tonight, the board will consider setting the mill levy for property tax in 2005 at about 25 mills, the same mill levy as 2004.

However, the town wants to issue a property tax credit lowering the mill levy to about 22 mills. The reduction will temper rising values and keep the town in line with a revenue cap set forth by Colorado's Gallagher Amendment.

The credit will allow the town to temporarily lower property taxes and later return to the higher mill levy. Based on state law, when mill levies are reduced, voters must approve any increases.

The Town Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

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

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