Hayden receives grants to revitalize businesses | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden receives grants to revitalize businesses

— An effort in Hayden to raise $50,000 to bolster economic development got a boost last month when the Gates Family Foundation of Denver pledged $20,000 to the effort.

Hayden Economic Development Commission secretary Tammie Delaney, who applied for the grant along with the town's Chamber of Commerce, said the grant and an additional $10,000 pledged by the Orton Family Foundation will help the town hire a community revitalization coordinator.

"This should hopefully leverage us to the next level to make things start to happen here," Delaney said, referring to ongoing business revitalization efforts. "It's wonderful to see the (Gates Foundation's) continued support and belief in our little town."

Delaney said in March that a community coordinator could serve the same role in Hayden that Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett serves in Steamboat Springs.

Delaney said the commission plans to use $30,000 of its fundraising goal to support the coordinator position and to invest the rest in marketing and promoting businesses, as well as maintaining the town's presence on the Internet.

Hayden officials last month started to apply for grants to boost such efforts and cited vacant storefronts on South Walnut Street and U.S. Highway 40 as a reason to focus on economic development.

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In addition to the grants, Delaney said, the commission and the Chamber will lead a fundraising effort with local businesses.

"It's pretty remarkable what this town has done without a lot of funds to work with," she said, noting the town's recent launch of http://www.welovehayden.com, a website that promotes the town and its businesses. "A lot of what we're doing is promoting a lot of the great things that are already happening here."

Town Council meeting

The Hayden Town Council formally will accept the grant funding when it meets Thursday night. Council members also will discuss a bill before the Colorado Legislature that would penalize local governments that restrict oil and gas development.

Town Manager David Torgler said the bill would be bad for Hayden.

"This (bill) would negatively impact our ability locally to work with oil and gas developers to mitigate their impacts on local infrastructure," he said.

House Bill 1356, which is on hold, could punish municipalities by withholding mining and energy-related severance taxes if oil and gas operations are hindered.

Hayden received $154,020 in severance taxes in 2011, according to finance director Lisa Dowling. She said the figure was a significant increase from the $78,170 the town received in 2010. Hayden has budgeted to receive $102,500 in severance taxes this year.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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