A month ago, two groups were fighting to run the Hayden Speedway. By Thursday, no one wanted the job.
The Hayden Town Board of Trustees encountered the awkward situation at its meeting. Trustees thought they'd have their pick of two groups to manage the track. Instead, they conceded to the Western Colorado Racing Association, which balked at the lease the town wanted.
In February, Gregg Kolbaba, of Craig, said he wanted to take over the lease from the WCRA. Floyd Gutierrez, also of Craig, represented the racing group and said the racers wouldn't show up if Kolbaba ran the track. Kolbaba later withdrew his proposal because he was running out of time to get sponsors and organize the season, Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said.
Gutierrez didn't want a lease that would require the WCRA to pay rent. And though Gutierrez said he had no problem using the American Legion as concessionaire, he did not want the contract to require it.
The tricky issue, Martin said, is making sure the town is using its asset. The town has been willing to forgo rent because the Legion puts its concession profits back into Hayden.
"I want to make sure we're protecting an asset that benefits the community," he said.
Gutierrez, who attended Thursday's Town Board meeting, gave his word that he would keep the American Legion on the grounds this season. He was wary of putting it into a contract, he said, because he didn't want future WCRA leaders to face that requirement. Town trustees seemed confused by that.
"The only thing I'm concerned with, Floyd, is you're telling me you don't want to be bound by this contract to the American Legion, but your word is good enough," Mayor Lorraine Johnson said. "What's the difference?"
American Legion member Bob Hayes attended the meeting to support Gutierrez.
"I've dealt with him, I've argued with him, but we've always come to an agreement," Hayes said. "I think Floyd is a fine citizen and an upright individual. I believe if he says his word, his word is good."
Martin recommended that the town return to the old contract with the WCRA, without rent or an American Legion clause, and approve it for a year and four months. That would put the contract up for renewal after the season in fall instead of before the season in winter or spring.
Town trustees voted to do so.
Also at Thursday's meeting:
- The Hayden Town Board voted, again after much debate, to approve a liquor license for Trini Riley's Hot Dog'n Paradise snack bar at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. The board approved it with one condition: Riley must add height to a wall on the end of the snack bar near the gate seating area. Trustees feared that people would be able to pass alcoholic beverages over the existing wall.
- Johnson swore in Tim Redmond, who took Trace Musgrave's seat on the board.
- Trustees approved a proclamation honoring Bob Myers, a resident of the Haven Assisted Living Center, who celebrated his 100th birthday Friday.
- The board approved a new intergovernmental agreement with the Hayden School District for athletic field use.
- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234
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