Hayden Town Council discusses water storage agreement

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— Hayden has to renew its 300 acre-feet of water storage at the Yamcolo Reservoir by July 15 or the town loses it.

Upper Yampa River Conservancy District General Manager Kevin McBride presented an extended agreement to the Hayden Town Council on Thursday. The 30-year agreement would raise the price per acre-foot to $68.38 from $27, the cost for the past 30 years. An acre-foot is the amount of water required to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot. One acre-foot equals nearly 326,000 gallons.

The increase will cost the town $12,414. Hayden was told to expect the change and budgeted for it in 2011.

Town Manager David Torgler said the cost increase eventually would be passed to residents, but he didn’t know by how much. He said Hayden would conduct a rate study to determine how much to increase rates to address all costs including maintenance, capital projects and making the water fund self-supporting.

McBride said the increase was based on the change in the consumer price index since the agreement first was signed. He said the price was set by the district’s board of directors and can’t be negotiated.

It’s the same cost charged to other municipalities and won’t change during the 30-year agreement.

“The issue is do we accept extended agreement for our storage or do we forfeit our storage,” Torgler said.

Mayor Jim Haskins quickly chimed in.

“No,” he said.

Torgler said he would place the extended agreement for Yamcolo water storage on the agenda for next month’s meeting.

Hayden last used its storage in 2003 or 2004. McBride said Hayden eventually would need to use its storage again and wouldn’t want to be in a position to not have it.

“It’s not a matter of if with any of these things, it’s a matter of when,” McBride said. “It’s a matter of how much insurance do you want to buy. That’s the issue here.”

The town also has 200 acre-feet of storage in Stagecoach Reservoir, which also is operated by the Upper Yampa River Conservancy District. That agreement doesn’t expire until 2019.

McBride also presented the district’s master plan to continue meeting the needs of its users. He explained that this year, he was assessing the need of the district’s users. Evaluating river and reservoir operations and identifying projects will take place in 2012. And in 2013, project feasibility and the creation of a work plan will occur.

Also Thursday, the Town Council:

■ Tabled a memorandum of understanding with Routt County for operation of the disc golf course at Dry Creek Park after a vote failed, 3-3. Haskins and council members Dallas Robinson and Bill Hayden opposed the motion. Town Council member Tom Rogalski didn’t attend the meeting.

Disc golf holes were placed on country property used for the Routt County Fairgrounds without the county’s permission, which necessitated the memorandum of understanding.

The course is near wetlands required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on county property that will be marked inaccessible to preserve the area. If people enter the wetlands to retrieve discs, Hayden or the county could shut down the entire course.

Robinson asked that the independent group that administers the course be invited to the meeting.

■ Discussed funding options such as grants, loans and bonds for three enterprise fund projects: wastewater treatment facility improvements required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment ($550,000), repair to the Hospital Hill sanitary sewer line ($100,000) and upgrading the water supply for Yampa Valley Regional Airport (cost unknown).

Torgler said the best option is getting a 2 percent loan from Colorado’s revolving loan fund. He said the town also was looking into its options to reduce four existing debt payments, such as getting a loan with a lower interest rate.

■ Heard an update about the Hayden School District from School Board member Tim Frentress. He said the applicants to replace Secondary Principal Troy Zabel had been narrowed to six candidates who would be interviewed next week.

■ Approved a memorandum of understanding with the city of Steamboat Springs for use of baseball fields at the Dry Creek Park for Triple Crown Sports events.

■ Accepted donation of a gazebo for use at the small park at 141 S. Walnut St.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@StemboatToday.com

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