Hayden approves budget | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden approves budget

$3.5 million ledger for 2008 exhibits town's growth

Melinda Dudley

Hayden — The Hayden Town Board of Trustees passed the town's 2008 budget unanimously Thursday night, funding growth in salaries, public safety and public works. — The Hayden Town Board of Trustees passed the town's 2008 budget unanimously Thursday night, funding growth in salaries, public safety and public works.

— The Hayden Town Board of Trustees passed the town’s 2008 budget unanimously Thursday night, funding growth in salaries, public safety and public works.

The balanced $3.5 million budget, under discussion by the Town Board since October, shows rising costs in growth-affected areas such as public safety, which will be funded by double-digit increases in sales tax revenues from Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Salaries were adjusted across the board both for cost of living and because the town’s previous pay schedules were inadequate, Town Manager Russ Martin said.

When reevaluating pay for the 2008 budget, staff took care to make pay equitable within and between departments, based on job and skill level, and took personnel replacement costs into consideration, Martin said.

The town held two budget workshops in November, both to hear public comment and facilitate discussion among the trustees.

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The Town Board also gave its stamp of approval to the Hayden Planning Commission’s updates to the town’s Comprehensive Plan, which aims to limit future residential growth to the areas west and south of town and preserve open space near YVRA.

Local residents, the Planning Commission and the Town Board developed the Comprehensive Plan two years ago as an outline for future growth. The amendments expand the plan’s land use maps to about a mile beyond Hayden’s current borders.

Although the Comprehensive Plan does not dictate future zoning, the town plans to use it as guide for development decisions as Hayden continues to grow.

Parks and Recreation

The Town Board also filled two vacancies on Hayden’s Parks and Recreation Board on Thursday.

Pat Montieth was appointed to the seat formerly filled by Richard “Festus” Hagins, who left the Parks and Recreation Board for a seat on the Planning Commission. Her term will last through December 2008. Shanda Sullins filled the vacancy created by Jill Altman, with a term to expire in December 2009.

The Town Board also discussed the possibility of allowing people who live outside of city limits to sit on the Parks and Recreation Board, at the request of Hayden resident Ray Mazzola. Although many children who live in unincorporated Routt County near Hayden participate in Parks and Recreation programs and activities, no participation statistics of that nature have ever been tallied, Parks and Recreation Director Kathy Hockett said.

“We’ve got a lot of kids out there that are involved in the rec district, a lot of parents that would love to be a part of it,” Mazzola said. “Don’t eliminate the people that live out of town.”

The fact that people living outside of town do not pay taxes to the town of Hayden – taxes that fund the Parks and Recreation Department – was a sticking point for the trustees.

“It’s always been a policy of the town of Hayden that if you’re going to be on a board, you have to live within the town limits of Hayden,” Trustee Lorraine Johnson said.

“This board has the authority to spend taxpayer money, and we feel they should live within the town of Hayden to spend the town’s money,” Mayor Pro-Tem Chuck Grobe said.

Discussions currently are under way to create a recreation district separate from the town, with its own governing body. Although such a district is only in the early planning stages and its boundaries have not yet been decided, it would aim to include all residents of the greater Hayden area, not just those who live within the current city limits.

The Parks and Recreation Board has previously considered adding two at-large alternates to its ranks, who would not have to reside within town limits, until the recreation district is in place, Hockett said.

The Town Board plans to readdress the issue in January.