Hayden to seek stimulus cash

Town hurries to plan water tank near YVRA or Golden Meadows

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Hayden leaders hope government dollars will buy them a second water storage tank.

The Town Board of Trustees told Town Manager Russ Martin last week to pursue "stimulus" funds for the project. U.S. lawmakers are working on a measure that could pour billions of dollars into the economy. Hayden's engineers plan to have the project ready as soon as funds are available, Martin said Monday. They're aiming for April and could have a bid-ready project in May.

Hayden uses a one million-gallon tank on Hospital Hill but wants another near Yampa Valley Regional Airport or Golden Meadows subdivision, Martin said. The town expects the project to cost $2 million, depending on tank size. Hayden is considering a half-million-gallon or million-gallon tank, he said.

The town contracts with Civil Design Consultants for engineering work, Martin said. If Hayden doesn't get stimulus money, it still could use the tank plans when it can fund the project, he said.

"I'm trying to get hot and heavy on it, to see what I can get done and see if there's a real possibility of seeing if there's a shovel-ready grant, we can apply for it and see if we can get it as opposed to not having any of this done and not being ready for it," Martin said.

The town now pumps water to Golden Meadows west of town and YVRA east of town, he said. Engineers are focusing on the airport site, which they think is best for a new tank. If the tank is built, the town might be able to redo the Hospital Hill connection to send water to Golden Meadows without a pump, Martin said.

"If a tank was built, we might actually be able to have a gravity feed on most of our area within our comprehensive plan, which would be outstanding," he said.

The federal money is expected to go into State Revolving Loan Funds. One of those provides loans below market rate for water projects, Martin said. He said it wasn't clear whether stimulus money would arrive as loans that would be repaid or grants that wouldn't.

Towns are required to place water and wastewater needs on a state list, Martin said.

"This project has been on there for a while, and it's just a matter of trying to find a funding source," he said.

The town also is seeking an administrative grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. That could cover as much as $25,000 of the planning, which could cost $65,000 to $80,000, Martin said.

Town trustees said last week that they understood there was no guarantee of stimulus money. Hayden has some money in a sewer reserve fund that could help pay planning costs, Martin told the board. Trustee Jim Haskins said the town should find the money in its budget if the government funds don't come.

Trustee Bill Hayden threw his support behind Martin's plan.

"I don't know if anything is more important than that," he said about a second tank. "We don't have any backup if something were to go wrong at Hospital Hill. We've got to go beyond this pumping situation."

The possible benefits outweigh the risk, Trustee Tom Rogalski said.

"I think it's an opportunity we should take advantage of," Rogalski said. "It's worth a roll of the dice."

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