MEEKER | Meeker’s trustees discussed the way a bid for a trail project—for which the Town of Meeker is investing $10,000—was handled by the recreation district board.
“I would like to look at how they wrote their bid, just to use it as an example. I think it would help us with some of our big bids,” said Travis Day, who will now serve as mayor pro temp.
The bid award, made to an out-of-state firm, also reignited an ongoing discussion about local preference for bidders.
“If we have an opportunity we should speak for our local business people, and unless someone can prove to me that the local bidders are completely inadequate, then leverage should be given them in every opportunity,” said Trustee Wendy Gutierrez.
Outgoing trustee Danny Conrado, who has served eight years as a town trustee, said he was surprised by comments made that board members felt intimidated by the presence of a bidder at a meeting. “At our meetings, and at county commissioner meetings, the contractors are there to find out where they stand. I understand the rationale made afterward about how the bid was awarded, but if you don’t give the criteria ahead of time, you’re wasting your time and the contractor’s time.”
Town Attorney Melody Massih suggested revisiting the topic of local preference in a workshop setting.
Conrado and Rod Gerloff, the other outgoing trustee, with 10 years of service on the board, expressed gratitude to the town staff and to the community for the opportunity to serve.
“There is no better place than the grassroots of government to be able to make a difference,” Gerloff said, urging the new trustees to, “Keep the people in mind and remember this is the people’s chamber.”
New trustees Scott Nielson and Pat Turner were sworn in and seated along with with incumbent Scott Creecy and Mayor Regas Halandras.
Following staff updates, the new board returned to discussion about code enforcement and abatement procedures.
In areas of town where vehicles are being stored in public rights-of-way (dead ends, etc.), signs will be installed within the next month, and letters will be sent to every household notifying them of the code requirements.
Massih outlined proper procedure for addressing dangerous properties, and said the town has several options for dealing with delinquent property owners, including causing the property to be sold and demolished.
The first steps will be to contact those owners again, some of whom are out of state and will have to be personally served by the sheriff’s office in their counties because they have not been responsive to certified mail.
In other business the board:
– Heard an update from the Main Street: 45 group about current and future projects.
– Approved spending $1,000 on steel lids to cover the planters around town during the winter months to keep them from being filled with trash. FFA students at the high school do the planting, and rec district employees water and maintain the planters during the summer months.
– Elam Construction was pronounced the low bidder for the paving project on Sixth, Eighth and 10th streets for the amount of $565,795.
– Agreed to schedule 7 p.m. workshops on the fourth Tuesday of each month.