Fate of church in limbo

A public hearing is scheduled for May 17 to discuss temporarily moving the century-old Methodist Church to the west end of Park Street until a permanent foundation in Ute Park can be built. Photo Courtesy of Bert Berry
A public hearing is scheduled for May 17 to discuss temporarily moving the century-old Methodist Church to the west end of Park Street until a permanent foundation in Ute Park can be built. Photo Courtesy of Bert Berry

Michele Morgan, who is spearheading the plan to relocate the century-old original Methodist church building, requested a public hearing to approve a two-phase plan for moving the building to Ute Park. The first phase of the plan would move the structure to the graveled area at the end of Park Street. The second phase, which would take place after the sheepdog trials and possibly not until next spring, would move the structure to a permanent location in Ute Park.
“Right now we probably have about $30,000,” in anticipated donations, said Morgan, with additional in-kind donations of materials and labor expected. If the building is stored for the winter at the end of Park Street, the group would have time to raise more funds for a foundation, or “hopefully,” a basement.
“According to the people who’ve looked at it, the building is up to the move,” Morgan said.
The board agreed to schedule the public hearing for the May 17 meeting.
Margie Joy said the Meeker Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a program about the benefits of shopping at home for June 7. “For example,” Joy said, “For every $100 you spend locally, $68 stays in the community. Whereas when you spend your discretionary income online, nothing comes back.”
Joy said she recently heard a “horror story” that illustrates the problem. Students collecting donations from merchants for the after-prom party were asked what the money would be used for. The kids said they planned to buy a Walmart gift certificate to be raffled as a prize.
Joy asked the board to reschedule their June 7 meeting in order to attend the presentation.
Members of Meeker’s winning Destination Imagination team, who are preparing to travel to global finals in Knoxville, appeared before the town board of trustees to request a donation for their travel expenses.
“There will be approximately 30 countries represented and 14,000 kids there,” said sponsor Marnell Bradfield. The board agreed to donate $500 to the team.
Resident Bob Lange appeared before the board with a “very preliminary” view for improving some of the local trails, an idea he has been working on since the town’s realignment of Sulphur Creek Road.
“We met with the Rec. District recently and I think there is some momentum toward creating a trails system in the community,” said Mayor Mandi Etheridge. “This is perfect timing.”
In other news, the town has prepared a high-water guide for residents along river. In case of flooding, sandbags (unfilled) and sand will be available to the public at no charge.