Town Board will discuss water rates and tap fees |

Town Board will discuss water rates and tap fees

Tamera Manzanares

The Hayden Town Board on Thursday will discuss several measures that could affect how much residents and businesses pay for water.

The board will consider raising water usage rates next year to keep in line with the town’s goal of eventually balancing water rates with the cost of providing water to residents.

For 10 to 15 years, stagnant water rates buried the town in expenses. Last year, the town implemented a first scheduled rate hike in hopes that the charges would pay for the cost of bringing water to taps by 2007, Deputy Town Clerk Susan Irvine said.

The town has seven types of usage. Any rate hike would affect those rates but not base rates, she said.

Board members also will discuss possible changes to the way the town calculates water and sewer tap fees. Town Manager Russ Martin suggested in October that the board consider figuring tap fees based on the diameter of pipes used rather than on the current equivalent residential unit system.

An EQR unit, or the standard tap fee for a residence, is $5,700. Business tap fees are calculated as equivalents to residential units, depending on factors contributing to overall water use.

Although commonly used by other towns, the EQR system is somewhat complicated and can have unexpected results. For example, when tap fees were estimated for the Mountain Valley Bank, which is being constructed on West Jefferson Avenue, they were figured at more than $17,000.

The situation provided the impetus for Martin to propose the simpler, size-based system. He suggested the town charge a standard fee for a three-quarter-inch line and adjust fees for bigger or smaller lines.

At the board’s request, Martin will provide examples of how the size system would work in different scenarios.

Also during the meeting, board members will decide whether the town should be a co-applicant on the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s request for a $600,000 Energy Impact Assistance grant. The grant would help the organization purchase and improve The Haven Senior Assisted Living Center in Hayden.

Routt County officials recently gave the grant first priority and suggested Hayden sponsor the request because The Haven is in the town’s jurisdiction, Martin said, noting that Moffat County also may sponsor the request.

The NWCVNA also has requested a $10,000 donation from the town of Hayden for The Haven project. It is not clear whether the board has approved that request.

In other business, the board will schedule a public hearing to review the 2005 budget in December. The budget will not be finalized until after the public hearing.

The board has held a series of work sessions considering a proposed budget.

During the final work session scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, board members plan to discuss which capital improvement projects to fund next year. The public is invited to attend the session.

The Town Board’s regularly scheduled meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hayden Town Hall.

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