Hayden gives derby green light

Crandall Avenue will be blocked for part of May 24 weekend

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— Derby racers, strap on your helmets and aim for Crandall Avenue.

The Hayden Town Board last week approved road closures and a donation for the Yampa Valley Soap Box Derby, town officials said.

Crandall Avenue will be closed from 3 to 7:30 p.m. for practice runs May 24 and from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 25 for the derby. The street will be blocked from Routt County Road 37 to Santa Fe Street, which will leave one end of the Vista Verde Drive loop open, Town Clerk Susan Irvine said.

The board also approved a $1,200 donation from the Economic Development Commission's funds to cover the derby's license fee, Irvine said.

The Parks & Recreation Department plans to sponsor a racer, department Director Kathy Hockett said. The department has received a donated car, and it will pay for upgrades and improvements to the vehicle, she said. Potential racers, who must be 10 to 17 years old, must write an essay to apply for the sponsorship.

"Basically, the essays just say what would it mean to you to be the Hayden local champ and earn a place in the championship in Akron, what do you expect to learn, those kind of things," Hockett said.

The winner of the Hayden race will qualify to compete at the July championships in Ohio.

Also at Thursday's meeting, the board approved a waste management rate increase, Irvine said. Starting May 1, residents will have to pay 25 cents more per month for trash collection. The move is a result of increased landfill expenses, she said.

The board also approved a letter seeking funding to finish Dry Creek Park's baseball fields, Town Manager Russ Martin said. The town is angling for money from businesses and other sources, and the letter will go to the Hayden Chamber of Commerce and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, Martin said.

Finishing the fields will cost about $125,000, he said.

The possibility has been raised of getting funds to complete the fields and then using them for Triple Crown Sports games. The three fields would be available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the deal would be limited to three years initially, Martin said. The fields would not be ready for use until at least 2009.

"We think it's an equal trade-off, and we'll make it such that it is," he said.

Although some businesses and residents grumble about the baseball and softball tournaments, others benefit, Martin said.

"This is an attempt to demonstrate that some of these businesses do want Triple Crown around," he said. "It is to demonstrate that there are people out there who are willing to pay for it, and they have been paying for it."

Hayden parks news

Parks & Recreation rescheduled its Arbor Day events, which were planned for April 18 at Dry Creek Park, Hockett said. The town and volunteers will work from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, probably at Hayden Town Park, she said.

The planned work at Dry Creek Park has been postponed because of flooding.

Parks Superintendent Dave Bantam is leading the Arbor Day project, she said.

"He started last year full time and has done a tremendous job at the parks," Hockett said. "The quality of the parks has really improved."

The department is seeking requests for proposals for the 2,200-square-foot multipurpose building at Dry Creek Park. Those are due by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Hockett said. More information is at www.townofhayden.org.

Parks & Recreation also is adding another full-time seasonal employee, Hockett said. The department is accepting applications for the job, which will include doing maintenance work and helping with events, she said.

- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

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