Town looks for new funding source

MEEKER — With the amount of traffic going through town, the curb and guttering project along Highway 13 can’t wait.
At least it can’t wait until 2011, council members decided, which is when the project could eventually be done. That is, if $500,000 in federal money from a Colorado Department of Transportation enhancement grant were used.
“I was informed that if we are going to have enhancement dollars in this project, the only thing we can do before their fiscal year 2011 is to get our design work done, and that we can’t even go out to bid until after July 1, 2010,” said Town Administrator Sharon Day at an Aug. 5 meeting of the town council. “So, it would be the season of 2011 before we get (the project) done.”
Unless a different funding source is found.
“I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I think maybe we should try to get an enhancement grant for a project down the road, maybe four or five years,” Day said. “But not something that is so important to this town right now.”
Instead, the town council decided to pursue an energy impact grant through the state, to fund the curb and gutter project, in hopes of having the work done sooner.
“We need to start this project as soon as we can, because of all of the traffic on Highway 13,” Day said.
The project would consist of replacing curbs and gutters along Highway 13, from Watt’s Ranch Market to 13th Street, as well as adding sidewalks where there are none, on both sides of the road.
Funding, if approved by the energy impact committee, would be available in spring 2009.
“The town will go ahead and do all of the engineering and design, at our expense, so when the money becomes available through the impact grant, we should be ready to go,” Day said.
In other business:
Joe Carstens asked the council to consider placing a no parking sign in front of his business property at 770 Main St.
Vehicles parked in front of the property cause a drainage problem, Carstens said.
“I’m getting water running down through that curb, just terrible,” Carstens said. “Last winter, I got water in No. 1 (apartment) two times.”
The town currently has restricted parking in the next block, which does not allow parking on alternate days, so snow can be plowed. Carstens requested no parking be allowed in front of his building seven days a week. Parking is available in back of the building.
Mayor Mandi Etheridge asked if the signs were effective.
“If they don’t move, then we tow,” Town Administrator Day said. “We didn’t have to tow too many times last year.”
“So the people who park there, are they people from that building, they just don’t want to go park around back?” Etheridge asked.
“Yeah, big wheels out of Denver,” Carstens said.
“Don’t they understand that by them parking right there, as opposed to parking around the corner, causes you a major problem in your building?”
“They don’t care,” Carstens said.
Council member Chuck Mills asked if it would help to have the every-other-day parking extended to Carstens’ building.
“Would that be enough of a hindrance to them, knowing that they could be towed if they park there on the wrong day?” Mills said. “Would that help you out?”
“Maybe we just leave it like it is,” Carstens said.
In the end, he withdrew his request.

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The council approved two quarterly payments — each in the amount of $13,125 — to Pioneers Medical Center for the Walbridge Wing. The Walbridge trust is administered by a bank in Denver. Money from the trust was designated for community health needs. The town makes quarterly payments on behalf of the trust.
Also, council members approved a request for transfer of a tavern liquor license from Andrea’s Market Street Grill to 73 Bar and Grill, pending approval from the state and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
“It is very good to hear that your police record is doing better,” Mayor Etheridge said.
“I’ve been trying to work on everything around there,” said Blanca Fehr, who is leasing the restaurant. “The customers are very pleased with the environment now.”
The council also approved a request for a special events liquor license by the Meeker Lions Club for a reception during the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials Sept. 5 at the Fairfield Center. The event will be from 4-11 p.m. and is by invitation only. Lions Club President J.H. Sheridan was present at the meeting.
A request by Ma Famiglia for renewal of a hotel and restaurant liquor license was also approved.