Town Board to mull rink plan

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The Oak Creek Town Board tonight will discuss a policy for use of its hockey rink.

Town Clerk Nancy Crawford has drafted a policy for use of the Four Seasons Arena. If the Town Board wants, it could add appropriate rental fees and damage deposits to that draft and approve the policy tonight, Crawford said.

The purpose of the policy is to encourage residents and organizations to use the skating rink for community or private events, according to the draft policy. But the town would review plans for each event to be sure it is safe and does not disrupt neighbors, according to the draft.

Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said she would prefer that no rental fee be charged. Instead, she would like to see a small damage deposit that would be used only if the arena were damaged while it was being rented.

"There's no reason people shouldn't use it, use it, use it," Rodeman said about the arena. "That's why it's there."

The Town Board would determine whether people can use the arena for all sorts of events, and whether any other deposit or charge would be necessary, she said. The Town Board also can decide on any rules it might want to include.

Organizers of several popular events, including the Taste of South Routt and the concert series, already have asked to use the space, Rodeman said.

"Everybody wants to use it," she said. "It gets rid of that rained-out thing."

Rodeman has estimated the town's contribution to the new ice rink roof was $40,000, about four times what was budgeted to come from the 2005 funds.

Because of the size of that contribution and the roughly $400,000 from volunteer work and donations, as well as a $200,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant, Rodeman said she thinks the arena should be open to all public uses.

Oak Creek still is pursuing proper building permits for the roof, which was erected over the ice rink this winter. Rodeman said she is waiting on some information from one of the volunteer contractors, but she hopes to get the permits in place.

Carl Dunham, chief building official for the Regional Building Department, could not be reached for comment.

The town had hoped to get building permits in place before construction began late this fall, but got hung up trying to buy a small strip of land it needed.

Also tonight, the Town Board will take another look at its health insurance policy for town employees. It is considering a bid of $76,700 from Pacificare, compared with the renewal bid of $84,500 from its current provider, Anthem BlueCross/BlueShield, town Treasurer Karrie Littman said.

At its last meeting, the Town Board decided to renew its plan with Anthem for a month, so it could switch providers tonight, Littman said. The Pacificare bid is closer to the cost the town had budgeted, she said.

The Town Board also will open two sealed bids for a piece of property and award the land to the highest bidder, and will consider sharing the costs of improving Grand View Avenue to provide access for the five homes and duplex the Yampa Valley Housing Authority is proposing to build for affordable housing.

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

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

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