Meeker Town Board approves dispatch, Better City accords

MEEKER I At the Jan. 5 Meeker Town Council meeting, Rio Blanco County Sheriff Anthony Mazzola requested that the town buy in to a new distribution of costs for the shared law enforcement, fire and public safety dispatch operation.

Mazzola pegged the budgeted total cost at $533,000. The new shared cost plan, approved in intergovernmental agreements, commits the town and the Meeker Fire District to $36,000 each. He explained that this was a slight shift from the previous circumstance of the county carrying the service’s cost except for $72,000 coming from the town. The council approved the plan on a 7-0 vote.
Also approved on a 7-0 vote was the request by county Economic Development Director Katelin Cook for funding of the 2016 implementation phase of the Better City consultants’ plan for economic improvement for the greater Meeker community.
For the year one implementation phase, the cost is nearly $100,000 with $25,000 to come from the town, $25,000 from the county and $50,000 from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
According to Meeker Town Administrator Scott Meszaros, the town board will review the actual contract with Better City at a council meeting in February.
Rio Blanco County Commissioner Jeff Eskelson was present to express the county’s support.
Due to a partial change in ownership of Chippers bar in Meeker, the new owner must request a new liquor license. Danielle Feola, now the sole owner of the bar, renamed “Chippers Downtown,” was granted a temporary new license on a 7-0 vote by the board. Feola thanked everyone involved with the town who supported Chippers receiving one of the town’s business improvement grants.
A full public hearing on the on-going license is expected to be held at the Feb. 2 town board meeting. Lee Overton came before the board regarding the renewal of the professional services agreement between the town and his Overton Recycling, Inc., to provide operations and management of Meeker’s recycling facility.
The board asked Overton for a report on his first months of taking over the recycling responsibilities, and he responded that there had been a steep learning curve and a couple major breakdowns.
He reported that he has been dealing with three tons of cardboard per week (averaging six bales), two tons of paper per week and two tons of plastic per month.
The town facility is now taking recycled plastic categories 1 through 7. He commented that Meeker citizens are getting further services by his recycling refrigerators, for example, and car batteries, at less expense than other options.
Overton also said his business’ biggest revenue comes through the recycling and shredding of automobile tires. The one-year renewable contract was approved on a 7-0 vote.
Town Administrator Meszaros mentioned to the council that he had compiled a two-page document listing town accomplishments and changes since he arrived three years ago.
The document includes the fact that privatizing the recycling effort has “reduced (those) operating expenses by 50 percent (while enhancing) services and minimizing the town’s liabilities, equipment repair and replacement costs as well as associated trucking and scheduling workloads.”
Under “Mayor’s Remarks” on the agenda, Mayor Halandras limited his remarks to the upcoming town elections and the importance of citizens stepping up to be candidates.
The mayor is running for re-election as is trustee Travis Day. Trustee John Strate, however, is term limited and trustee Bryce Ducey is choosing not to run for re-election, thus leaving two seats open for new trustees.