Another rate hike on table

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The Hayden Town Board on Thursday will discuss a proposal to raise water rates by about 20 percent starting Jan. 1.

It would be the fourth rate hike since 2003, when town officials decided to bring water rates in line with costs of production by 2007.

The increase would apply to all seven categories of customers, which are broken down into three blocks depending on usage.

Based on the proposal, residential and business customers using 6,000 gallons or less would see their monthly water bills increase from $1.70 to $2.15 per 1,000 gallons.

Rates for out-of-town customers with similar water usage, excluding seniors, who have lower rates, would increase to $4.30 from $3.40 per 1,000 gallons.

Customers also pay a monthly base rate of $15.95. Bringing usage fees in line with costs of production will allow the town to use base rate funds for capital projects and debt service for the water system, as the funds were intended, according to background information provided to board members.

The first reading of the water rate changes is Thursday, and adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for December.

Also Thursday, the Town Board will consider giving final approval to the initial filing of the 150-home Dry Creek Village subdivision.

The board also will decide whether to annex about 47 acres of land along Routt County Road 37 south of Crandall Avenue for the project.

Partners Jim Woods and Jon Peddie plan to hire one builder to construct all homes in the subdivision. The first filing will have 26 homes.

The entire subdivision eventually will have about 12 acres of usable open space and a park.

The Hayden Planning Comm--ission last week recommended approval of the annexation and the first filing of the project, though not all commission members were on board with the decisions.

Members Alicia Tuck and Chuck VeDepo questioned whether there was sufficient demand for the project.

They argued it does not fit the comprehensive plan because it would be too far from existing development and there isn't enough new commercial activity to balance the costs of a new subdivision.

The annexation agreement, the first one subject to standards in the town's new land-use code, includes a list of provisions. Among them, developers must pay a fee per residential unit to offset the town's costs of maintaining roads and providing services.

Developers also must agree to pay a fee in lieu of land for future schools and parks and, if possible, connect to existing sewer lines rather than install a lift station.

The Town Board meets at 7:30 p.m. at Hayden Town Hall.

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

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