Meeker trustees approve aerial spraying for mosquitos, begin comprehensive plan refresh

MEEKER | Following discussion about the town’s mosquito control plan, Meeker trustees approved aerial spraying prior to the annual Range Call festivities this year.

“We’re going to have a lot of mosquitos this year,” said Mayor Regas Halandras. “Last year was a perfect year not to spray.”

Last year the board began to discuss alternatives to the traditional aerial spraying program in response to concerns about health and environmental risks of spraying, and evidence spraying was not killing as many mosquitos as might be assumed.

Last year’s drought conditions were a natural mosquito preventative. This year’s wet conditions, if and when it warms up, could create an ideal mosquito habitat.

The town has one person licensed to use the more bio-friendly “mosquito dunks” that effectively kill larvae in standing water, but the dunks have to be replaced about every 10 days, according to Public Works Superintendent Russell Overton.

“There’s no way our one person could keep up with all the standing water this year,” Halandras said.

Still, the board expressed a desire to continue exploring different options for the future.

“I just don’t want to go back to that, where every year we just spray, just because,” said Trustee Wendy Gutierrez. “But I’d be willing to relent on that this year just because of the moisture we’ve had.”

Town not responsible for housing authority board

The Board approved a resolution that formalizes the town’s separation from the Meeker Housing Authority. The town was named in the civil suit filed against members of the housing authority board in 2016 despite the fact the town’s only connection to the MHA was appointing board members.

“This absolves the town of all future responsibility,” said Town Attorney Melody Massih.

Comprehensive Plan Refresh

The last time the Town of Meeker reviewed and revised its comprehensive plan was in 2006. The comprehensive plan provides overall guidance for community development and builds on previous planning efforts. The town held a workshop prior to the regular meeting to form a committee that will work with the contracted consultants through the duration of the project, which will include updating the town’s land use plan and is expected to be completed by February 2021.

The board approved contracts with Western Slope Consulting, LLC, for the comprehensive plan and land use plan updates, as well as contract help with the town’s planning needs.

In the weeks and months to come, the consulting firm will be seeking community input for the comprehensive plan.

By Niki Turner | niki@ht1885.com

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