Oak Creek eyes plan update | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek eyes plan update

Susan Cunningham

Oak Creek Mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman is spearheading an effort to update the town’s master plan in response to trustees’ recently expressed concerns about her grant-writing services.

Rodeman will start a discussion at tonight’s Town Board meeting about the need for an updated master plan. The plan not only would help the town, but it would cut down on communication gaps between trustees and the town grant writer.

Last June, Rodeman was hired as the town’s grant writer. Two weeks ago, the Town Board gave Rodeman a raise to $35 an hour for no more than 32 hours, or $1,120, a month. Rodeman excused herself from the pay discussion and stepped out of the room.

In that discussion, some trustees said the Town Board needed more information on which grants Rodeman was pursuing and why.

Rodeman said the trustees have no reason to be concerned and wrote a letter to them emphasizing that point after learning about the discussion.

“I’ve never spent town monies without Town Board approval, ever,” she said.

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Some grant opportunities have a deadline close at hand, so Rodeman said she has to act quickly and doesn’t have time to call each trustee.

If the town’s specific needs were outlined and prioritized in the master plan, Rodeman said she could work from that list when applying for grants. She already has talked with the Colorado Center for Community Development, which she said agreed to fund half of the costs of creating the master plan.

“I thought the master plan might be the easiest way to cut down on the communication gaps,” Rodeman said. “I don’t want everybody to think I’m just haphazardly going for everything.”

The master plan was updated in 1995, Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said. It covers issues such as how residents think the town should grow and develop, and what types of public facilities they want.

In the master plan’s list of capital improvement projects, water, wastewater, street and electric improvements are included. The town has added more recent updates to that list, but those are not part of the official master plan, Crawford said.

During Rodeman’s tenure, the town has applied for and received a grant and loan for the water treatment plant, a grant for the wastewater system, a grant for a Main Street safety and beautification enhancement, and a grant to design an around-the-town trail. Rodeman has assisted the Oak Creek and Phippsburg Historical Society in applying for a grant to renovate Old Town Hall, and also helped apply for a grant to put a roof on the hockey rink and get skate park equipment.

Rodeman said she hopes all residents participate in the master plan update process. The Town Board will set a date for an initial work session tonight.

The Town Board also will take public comment on the Sierra View annexation but will not make a decision on the 70-unit subdivision proposed for a hill adjacent to town.

The Town Board meets at 7 tonight in Town Hall.