Plans for new softball fields in Hayden underway |

Plans for new softball fields in Hayden underway

Graduate students compiling master plan for area

Gary Salazar

HAYDEN Town officials are starting to make decisions that will pave the way for the development of 23 acres of property that is intended for ball fields.

The Town Board recently approved to have two college graduate students to compile a master plan for Dry Creek Park.

Last Thursday, the Town Board of Trustees approved a $5,000 proposal that was submitted by the Colorado Center for Community Development, which is operated by the University of Colorado at Denver.

Trustees also approved having the property mapped and wetlands identified.

With the board’s decision, the Center for Community Development will now try to recruit two graduate students enrolled in the planning and architectural schools to develop a plan for the property that is just south of the Routt County Fairgrounds.

“It will take a few years to get this land developed,” said Town Manager Rob Straebel. “But our first step is to get a plan in place.

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“We would hope that the Center for Community Development can start on this as soon as possible.”

Included in the agreement is the center will donate $1,500 to the project.

The town will be responsible for funding about $3,400 of the plan’s cost.

“This is one heck of a deal,” said Trustee Richard “Festus” Hagins. This amount is significantly lower than what the town would have paid if they would have hired a professional consulting firm.

“I would estimate that if we would have went out and bid the project it could have cost the town between $20,000 to $30,000,” Straebel said.

Straebel is comfortable with allowing graduate students to compile a master plan for the property the town is interested in developing baseball, softball and soccer fields on.

An amphitheater, a trail, along with a parking lot that would be utilized during the county fair, are also possibilities.

“We have used graduate students from the University of Colorado for other projects,” Straebel said. “Graduate students compiled plans for one of our subdivisions and a water storage tank. I believe it is important to bring in unbiased participation in this planning process. They have all the technology and the skills to be able to take this information and put it into a form that can be presented to the community.”

The town was forced to look into using the Center for Community Development after a Great Outdoors Colorado grant fell through.

It is the center’s mandate to help small communities in the state.

The center is to provide planning assistance to small communities with populations of 5,000 residents or less.

The center has provided communities with design and planning assistance on a wide range of open space, development and community service issues. Along with developing a master plan, the town also is having a firm, D&D Inc., map the property. The company will be paid $500 to compile a map of the property.

The map will provide floodplain information and identify wetlands, water and sewer lines and manhole locations.

The company will use information being compiled by Kelly Coffer, who has been hired by the town for $3,000 to identify wetlands on the property. The town purchased the property earlier this year from Wes Signs.

The town used a $114,000 GOCo grant to purchase 20 acres. Town funds were used to buy a second parcel, 2.87 acres, for $84,700. (Gary E. Salazar is a reporter for the Steamboat Springs Pilot/Today.)v

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