Hayden drops rec district plan

Town will not take issue to West Routt voters in November

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— Hayden will not go forward with the West Routt Recreation District this year.

On Thursday, Town Manager Russ Martin recommended the town not allocate money for the costs of pushing the district, which could reach $10,000. The recreation district would have increased property taxes in and around Hayden to "finance, construct and manage park and recreation facilities" for the area, according to a draft of the service plan.

The town had considered trying to put the issue on the November ballot.

"Most of the people that I talked to think a rec district would be a good idea," Hayden School District Superintendent Mike Luppes said. "I personally think it would even pass with proper education. : I guess my concerns are there doesn't seem to be anyone passionate about this to go out and push it."

The town has not closed the book on the issue and could revive the proposal next year.

The board also backed the American Legion in a disagreement with the Western Colorado Racing Association on Thursday. The racing group wants the legion post to pay for the right to serve food at Hayden Speedway.

Members of American Legion Post No. 89 spoke at the board meeting in an effort to gain exclusive rights to concessions at the racetrack. The legion reinvests its concession profits into the Hayden community, legionnaire Ken Gibbon said. The group does not want to give that money, which amounted to about $7,000 last year, to the racing group.

"They basically told us they want us to do it, and if we don't do it, they'll find someone else, probably from Craig," legionnaire Ray Birch said. The association wanted to charge at least $750 for the season, legionnaire Ron Nereson said.

One wrinkle is that the town's contract implies that the racing group has control over concessions, Town Manager Russ Martin said. That deal with the racing group expires in 2009, which means the town can't change the terms.

The town does have a say, however, if the racing association wants to sublet or transfer any part of the lease, Martin said. Charging the American Legion to serve concessions would fall under this category, he said.

The Town Board moved that it does not consent to the Western Colorado Racing Association using anyone other than American Legion Post 89 as the concessionaire for the 2008 season and that it does not consent to charging the post.

"We are content with that," Nereson said.

Also at its meeting Thursday:

- The board voted to name a baseball field in Dry Creek Park after longtime Hayden resident Don Morgan. The field is not yet complete, but the board and those present enthusiastically supported the proposal. A plaque will eventually denote the honor.

Morgan is a former principal in Hayden who played semi-professional baseball, supported athletics and started the town's softball league, officials said.

"And he's a wonderful, wonderful person," Trustee Tom Rogalski said.

- The board agreed to a reimbursement deal for the annexation of land for Precision Excavating. Property owners who use the infrastructure added by Precision owner Dave Zehner will pay him back a portion of the cost.

The town's example: "If Property X had 10 percent of the linear foot frontage it would pay 10 percent of the cost of installation as a reimbursement directly to Dave Zehner, if a connection is made in the next 10 years." Beyond 10 years, Zehner won't be reimbursed.

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