Hayden Hayden officials received some discouraging news last week.
The town was not awarded a $200,000 grant to help fund major improvements to Dry Creek Park. The lack of funding could bring the $800,000 second phase of park improvements to a halt, Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said.
"Needless to say, it's a very disappointing result, and we'll have to take a step back and look at this," he said.
Martin said the news was especially disappointing because the town put together a competitive proposal for the Great Outdoors Colo--rado Local Government grant.
"We did exactly what they wanted us to, and apparently, it wasn't enough," Martin said.
Martin said that based on the town's monetary match, it should have been clear to GOCO officials that park improvements were one of the town's highest priorities.
The Town Board previously had decided to set aside $200,000 for matching funds for the project. Hayden has annual revenues of about $1.8 million.
"It was a tough decision then, and it will have to be brought up again with the Town Board in the future," Martin said.
Martin said the town will consider reapplying for the grant. The GOCO grant was part of the town's packaged funding plan, which included a $400,000 Energy Impact Grant. That grant is pending.
The proposed second phase of park improvements include the construction of three baseball fields, a concession stand and a walking path. Town officials had hoped that construction could begin this year and improvements be completed by 2008.
"There wasn't an entity that we didn't talk to that didn't think this was a need in the valley or all of Northwest Colorado," Martin said.
Wally Piccone, GOCO senior program manager, said the grant program is very competitive. GOCO awarded $3,861,654 to 25 of the 55 applicants. The applications are reviewed by GOCO staff and then forwarded to government officials throughout the state who review the proposals.
"There are no right or wrong answers," Piccone said.
There have been eight grants awarded to Hayden since 1997 totaling $259,617, he said.
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