Town seeking funds to turn ditch into pond

MEEKER — The Town of Meeker, in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and White River Electric Association, is beginning to work to obtain a federal cost-share grant from the Fishing Is Fun 2008 grant program.
The purpose of this grant will be to enlarge an existing irrigation ditch at Circle Park into a small fishing pond about one acre in size. The pond will have an aeration system and a variety of water depths for quality trout habitat.
In addition, there will be the construction of a walking trail around the pond with two footbridges and handicapped fishing piers.
There also may be a second phase of the project to include expansion of the parking lot, construction of picnic shelters and sidewalks to make them handicapped accessible.
In addition, several interpretive signs will be installed at Meeker Circle Park to inform the public about the improvement project and to recognize and thank various donors and participants that would make the project possible.
The federal grant application process requires that the Town of Meeker seek out many other project sponsors to help with the total project costs. It is estimated that the total cost for completing the fish pond improvements at Meeker Circle Park could be about $750,000.
In order to submit a federal grant application for this project, the Town of Meeker will be required to show commitments for a minimum of 25 percent of the total project cost and to be competitive with other applicants, 50 percent of the project cost would ideally be paid for by the local community and sponsors.
These contributions can be cash or other in-kind donations of labor, construction materials, heavy equipment, trained personnel or any other services pertinent to getting the project completed.
It is hoped to have written commitments from project sponsors for either cash or in-kind donations by the middle of February so as to complete the application process for the federal grant deadline of Feb. 29.
The Town of Meeker hopes to receive a large variety of strong commitments to this project. The town believes the project will be a great recreational and natural resource that local families and visitors can enjoy for years to come.
For more information, contact Bob Campbell, administrative intern, Town of Meeker, 345 Market St., Meeker, Colo., 81641, call (970) 878-5344 or
e-mail assistant@town.meeker .co.us.