Town board tackles concerns |

Town board tackles concerns

Guest author

— The Hayden Town Board had some tough competition Aug. 19. The Routt County Fair was hosting the country showdown talent contest less than a mile from Town Hall, at the same time the board was meeting.

Attendance figures aren’t final for the showdown, but it’s safe to say that when everything shook out, the Shania Twain wannabes were a bigger draw than the Town Board. Nobody but town staff was in the audience for Thursday’s meeting.

Mayor, Ray Mazzola, was working hard at the fair that night it’s expected of him. And Mayor Pro-tem, Pam Gann, was also absent.

But a quorum plus-one, including Tim Frentress, Dave DeWitt, Ken Gibbon, Jim Haskins and Chencho Salazar all turned out in the middle of fair week to discuss the results of a recently completed town survey.

Town Manager Rob Straebel said the town department heads met and discussed several areas of concern identified by the public. Most are well-familiar to the board.

In the area of law enforcement, Hayden residents continue to be concerned with speeding.

“They think we have some excessive speeding in some neighborhoods,” Straebel said. Noisy car stereos and tailpipes also irritate Hayden residents.

Canines are on the minds of Haydenites.

“Menacing dogs and just dogs running at large are a problem, Straebel said, as well as dogs who do their ‘business” in the business district, and parks all over town. Salazar agreed.

“We need to get the dog catcher rout early in the morning,” Salazar said. “If you go around at 5 a.m., you see these dogs everywhere. Especially on garbage day. And then, right at dark, you see them.”

The town is far from unanimous when it comes to mosquito control, Straebel said. Some people think there s too much mosquito to control taking place, and others say the town’s efforts are not enough.

The taste of the town’s drinking water is also a matter of some debate. Public Works Manager Frank Fox said the town water system passed a recent test for unwanted organic and inorganic compounds, without exception. But Straebel said some people responding to the survey said the water that comes out of their taps tastes like the Yampa River.

Of course, the Yampa is the town’s source of drinking water. But Straebel said the taste is probably due to seasonal algae. Straebel said he has yet to experience the bad tasting water, and Haskins said the same.

Hayden residents would also like a more vibrant downtown, Straebel said, with more shopping and dining opportunities.

Haskins said he believes the best opportunity for economic development will come at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, and Hayden government should closely track the development of a new airport master plan under way with the county commissioners.

“Their complaints are good,” Salazar said. “They’ve got to give us some time to work on them.”

Straebel said that in order to bring the survey process full circle, he would send all box holders the city’s responses to their concerns in a question and answer format.