OPED: ERBM Spring Spotlight

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MEEKER | As with most public agencies, an annual budget for the calendar year is adopted at ERBM’s regular December board meeting. Some of the larger capital projects approved in 2020 are outlined below, as well as some of the great programs coming your way this spring.

First, the long-anticipated pond project at Circle Park is scheduled to ramp up during the late summer and fall months. Several important items were required in order to make this project a reality, including: a new water right application in conjunction with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), cultural resources and environmental assessments, compensatory wetland mitigation, U.S. Army Corps permitting, FEMA flood plain modeling, grants administration, as well as legal work to finalize easements with Highland Cemetery District, WREA and the Town of Meeker. In collaboration with numerous public and private partners, ERBM is excited to finalize this one-acre fishing pond with associated amenities such as a walking path, new timber pavilion, and fishing pier that will provide sustainable trout fishing at this accessible in-town park location for both residents and visitors alike. Project details are available on the District’s website and construction updates will also be posted online, in the Rio Blanco Herald Times, as well as on-site at Circle Park.

ERBM has also budgeted to begin planning additional work at Circle Park to update important infrastructure components including, but not limited to, riverbank stabilization, parking, lighting, fencing, and signage, as well as the possibility of further river corridor enhancements. Feedback received from the recent Meeker Moving Forward community survey indicated that improved access to the in-town river corridor was a high priority area for consideration. In anticipation of submitting a sizeable grant application at the end of 2020 toward this proposed collaborative project, community and stakeholder input will be collected and conceptual designs developed throughout the year with the intent of implementing the desired next phase of improvements conceivably starting in 2021.

Finally, some substantial renovation and repair projects are slated for 2020, including LED lighting at the Paintbrush Park baseball field. This state-of-the-art MUSCO lighting system was installed on the softball field in 2019 and provides a tremendous improvement in the quality, efficiency, and longevity of this equipment. The Meeker Recreation Center natatorium will require some significant structural and operational updates in the form of a new roof structure, as well as a redesigned boiler system due to deteriorated conditions resulting from original design flaws in both of these areas. These critical updates are just a few examples of the many ways ERBM is working to live out its “stewardship” core value by caring for and preserving the tremendous resources we’ve been entrusted with as an agency.

Another ERBM core value is “quality experiences” and this spring’s program Line-Up, in mailboxes the end of this week, has many great offerings in queue for you and your family to take part in, including: a special pool party in March, the always popular Father Daughter Ball and Mother Son Bowling events, Arbor Day essay contest and planting ceremony in April, and of course the 20th annual Dance and Tumbling Recital in May which will take place in the Elementary School Gymnasium this year. 

There’s plenty going on at ERBM in 2020 and we hope you and your family will get involved and find your fit among all the recreational, cultural, and outdoor experiences available as we collectively seek to improve well-being and promote a vibrant community here in Eastern Rio Blanco County!

By Sean VonRoenn | ERBM Executive Director