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Oak Creek to condemn land

Town to take land so ice rink roof will be on its property

Susan Cunningham

The Oak Creek Town Board OK’d a process to condemn 0.11 acres of private land so the roof for its new covered ice rink and the snow slide from that roof are on town property.

Having the property also should help the town get the building permits it needs to comply with its building codes. To take advantage of volunteer assistance, the town has started building the new roof without permits.

Mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman made the motion to condemn the land at Thursday night’s meeting, and trustees Bill Paxton, Steve Beven and John Crawford agreed with the motion. Trustee Mike Kien voted against the motion.

Before the vote was taken, Crawford and Kien asked Rodeman to bring the board up to date. Trustees said that the last they had heard, the town planned to offer property owner Joe Foreman $2,000 for the land and not to condemn it.

Originally, Foreman said the town would be able to get his property through a swap, but later said that it would be better for the town to purchase his land, Rodeman said.

Rodeman said that since the Town Board’s last meeting a few weeks ago, she had given Foreman additional information about the town’s plans for the property that he had requested and then did not hear back from him. Foreman did not attend Thursday’s meeting.

On Nov. 10, the town, through its attorney, Bob Weiss, filed a court motion to condemn the property.

The town is hoping to settle the issue without going to court, but a hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Kien said he didn’t think it was right under the U.S. Constitution for the town to condemn the property.

“I don’t see how this in any way has to do with public health or safety,” Kien said about the land under consideration.

“It does not qualify for stealing somebody’s property,” he said. “An act of violence to take somebody’s land is not to be taken lightly.”

Rodeman replied that “nobody is stealing anything,” and that there were no other options to move forward the process of getting the land and building permits.

Crawford agreed.

“I’m not sure how to make this process go any other way because we need to make this happen,” he said.

Oak Creek recently received a $200,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to construct a permanent roof over its hockey rink, keeping the rink out of the weather and giving skaters more time on the ice.

Rodeman originally estimated that the project would cost about $400,000, but now is guessing it will cost $600,000. Most of that cost will be paid through donated time and materials, with some donations from the town and others making up the rest.

“It’s going amazing,” Rodeman said about progress on the project.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said about the volunteer time and effort that has been dedicated to the project.

— To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com


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