Hayden dog park proposed

Trustee calls town park on Third Street the perfect spot

Hayden Trustee Ken Gibbon loves to run with his dog, but like many people in Hayden and Steamboat Springs, he doesn't have a place in town where he can let his pooch off the leash.

He and town Recreation Coordinator Lindsay Heer recently teamed up to find an appropriate location for a dog park. On Thursday, Gibbon proposed the park at a place he called the perfect location.

The Hayden Town Park on Third Street includes a section that Gibbon said people rarely use. To get there, people must cross a bridge over Dry Creek to an area with grills and shade from trees along the creek.

Gibbon says it is a perfect location because it has the natural boundary of the creek and a fence along one side of it. That means construction costs would be minimal, likely requiring only that a fence be constructed around the rest of the area, Gibbon said.

"It's good for dogs to develop social skills with other dogs," Gibbon said. "And it's good for dog owners to socialize, too. Instead of some dogs and their owners playing at the field at the high school and all over town, this would consolidate them all in one area."

Based on public demand, several dog parks were opened in Denver during the past two years, including five that were opened Feb. 28. Denver Parks Planner Britta Herwig said dog parks are a "very social place."

"The parks have been open three weeks; so far things are going really well," Herwig said. "Two of them are very heavily used, and people have discovered the social opportunities there. Some are saying they're getting to meet their neighbors for the first time."

Town Board members supported the idea in Hayden but requested more information about costs and asked Public Works Director Frank Fox and Police Chief Jody Lenahan to research how the park would be maintained and policed.

If the dog park was deemed economically feasible and was publicly supported, it would not be implemented until 2005 at the earliest, because money was not budgeted for such a park this year.

In other business:

n Town Manager Russ Martin announced that the Colorado Department of Transportation will award the town with assistance on two sidewalk-paving projects. In 2006, CDOT will pour a sidewalk along Jefferson Avenue from Third to Sixth streets, a $70,000 project, of which the town will pay 30 percent, or $21,000. In 2008, CDOT will pour a sidewalk along Poplar Street from Jefferson Avenue to Breeze Basin Boulevard. The town also will match 30 percent of this total cost, $28,000 of a total $93,000.

n The Town Board approved annexation, zoning and final plat of 3.61 acres at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, called "Williams Annexation 'C'," which will be used for a rental car maintenance facility.

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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