Stubblefield sworn in as new police chief

MEEKER I It was standing room only for the swearing in ceremony of Meeker’s new police chief, Phil Stubblefield, at the town’s regular board of trustees meeting Tuesday.
Stubblefield introduced Meeker’s two new officers—Eddie Thompson and Matt Spangler. Both officers are still training with the department.
The town approved a request for $1,500 in support of the Fourth of July fireworks display, approved the Rural Jump Start Program, and ratified the approval at the previous meeting of the Berry Bros. Minor subdivision.
The board awarded the Seventh and Ninth street paving project bid. Public Works supervisor Russell Overton said both streets will be repaved “from the highway up.”
In staff updates Overton also said a water main on Cleveland that was “supposed to be abandoned in 1981” but still has water in it and has been leaking around 11th Street, will be fixed next week.
Massih said the lawsuit against the Meeker Housing Authority is headed into mediation at the end of May. The plaintiffs in the suit are “asking for millions of dollars.”
According to Massih, the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA) has asked the town to “throw in a nominal amount” of $5,000 or less to help settle the suit.
The board and town staff agreed to turn down that suggestion, as the town doesn’t have any involvement in the Meeker Housing Authority beyond appointing the board members.
Massih said there is a motion pending to dismiss the case on behalf of the town. The attorney is “hoping to settle the case” in mediation.
Several residents came before the board to request a change in the town ordinance regarding golf carts on public streets. Golf carts are specifically excluded from the town’s OHV ordinance.
“We’ve been driving our golf carts around to run errands for several years,” said resident Sandra Besseghini. “We discovered last year the Meeker traffic ordinance does not include electric golf carts.”
The board directed town staff to look into the current traffic ordinance and to determine if it’s better to amend the current OHV ordinance or to adopt a new resolution to clarify the status of golf carts and what would be required to legally operate them on town streets.
The board also discussed concerns about the Sulphur Creek ditch below Second Street, which “smells and is ugly and is full of debris,” according to trustee Wendy Gutierrez, whose business is adjacent to the ditch. Gutierrez wanted to know what can be done about the problem.
The board directed staff to explore options for cleaning the ditch.
In mayoral updates, Regas Halandras said the town needs to consider ways to support new events that are coming to town, such as the rodeo planned for Thursdays this summer.
“As we move and are trying to bring stuff to Meeker and make things happen it’s going to fall on the town more,” Halandras said. “We need to start thinking about a way to help bring these things around.”