County to bill airlines for cost

Reimbursement approved for officers


— Routt County commissioners agreed Tuesday to reimburse the town of Hayden for stationing law enforcement officers at the airport screening area during passenger screening.

But the county is not really footing the bill either. The county will bill the airlines $35 per hour for security services at the airport.

The Hayden Town Board will consider approving the intergovernmental agreement during its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.

The security threat level at airports nationwide has been at "threat level orange" since August. That heightened security calls for a law enforcement officer to be at the airport when flights were departing, and that was putting a strain on the Hayden police force.

"We had a significantly higher level of required service than the town of Hayden could provide," said YVRA Manager Dave Ruppel, citing the Hayden Police Department's roster of four officers.

With winter jet service during the ski season, an officer has to be at the airport for 12 hours each day.

In September, Hayden and Routt County officials met to discuss billing the airlines for the additional security. County officials said it could happen, which meant Hayden could count on getting reimbursed.

"We're not going to make or lose any off the deal, which was the point," said Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin.

Officers working airport security are technically working for the town of Hayden, but officers from the Craig and Hayden police departments as well as Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies have picked up the shifts during their time off.

"It's going real well," said Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch.

Even though the increased security initially strained the Hayden Police Department, Birch said he is glad the security is at the airport throughout the day.

"It's a safety issue along with the traffic stuff," Birch said. "There are a lot of people up there."

The intergovernmental agreement also adds some flexibility for who might manage security in the future. Ruppel said Birch and Sheriff-elect Gary Wall would need to discuss that.

"Right now, it's all in the town of Hayden's jurisdiction," Ruppel said. "They're going to have to figure that out."

The Hayden Town Board will also:

n Consider appointment of Selena Frentress to the Hayden Parks and Recreation Board.

n Consider several people for a vacancy on the Economic Development Commission.

- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail


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