Governmental units meet to discuss Sulphur Creek Road

MEEKER — The idea that a road might end up in your backyard is disconcerting for every homeowner, and Meeker’s Second Street residents are no exception. After many discussions, with many more to come, homeowner Anita Peters spoke to the heart of the issue with her question for the town board.
“If this does happen, down the road, what will happen to my house and property? Will I be compensated?” Peters asked.
Mayor Mandi Etheridge was quick to reassure Peters — and other residents with questions and concerns — that the discussion concerning the Second Street expansion is still in its infancy, and the town will keep property owners informed about the discussions to follow.
As part of those ongoing discussions, the board of trustees and town staff held a joint workshop with members of the RE-1 school district board, the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Park and Recreation board and staff, Rio Blanco County staff and commissioners in a workshop prior to the regular April 7 board meeting to “begin discussions concerning the process to identify a safe pedestrian/bike route north of Garfield Street and the Sulphur Creek Road area to connect with the proposed pedestrian/bike route to serve the new elementary school.” All four districts own property or have projects along the Sulphur Creek corridor.
“We realize that a project of this magnitude is not simple or straightforward,” Etheridge said, in response to further questions and comments from the public. “We (the workshop) came to a consensus that we need to focus on routes north of Garfield on Sulphur Creek road first, before thinking about expanding south of Garfield.” The board agreed to pursue doing a traffic study and survey to obtain further information.
“We’re not planning, we’re discussing,” Etheridge added. “There’s a big difference.”
In other business, Public Works Superintendent Russell Overton said the public restrooms at City Park, which were closed due to repeated vandalism, have been repaired and are “back up and running.” This time, a security camera has been installed to monitor activity outside the restrooms.
The town approved a request from the Meeker Sanitation District to waive an excavation permit fee for a multiple-street project they have planned. Based on square footage, the regular fee would be approximately $14,000. The town agreed to bill the district for staff hours put in by town employees and waive the difference for the rest of the fee.
The board adopted revisions to the Meeker Municipal Code regarding digital signs along Highway 13 in the Highway Commercial zoning district. The digital sign permit fee is an additional $50 fee on top of the current $30 sign permit fee.
“Based on the additional time necessary for staff to review specifications, take measurements, we feel this is a comparable and fair fee to compensate the town’s expense,” said Town Planner Anna Smith.