Community survey results workshop/discussion Jan. 23

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Meeker Moving Forward’s community survey results will be discussed Jan. 23 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Meeker Public Library. A total of 416 responses were received.

MEEKER | On Jan. 23, 2020, the Town of Meeker and its consultant team will be hosting the Meeker Community Survey Workshop at the Meeker Public Library (490 Main St.) from 5:30-7 p.m. This workshop will serve as an opportunity for the community to come together to review and discuss the full results of the Meeker Community Survey and learn about next steps for Meeker Moving Forward. The five winners of the survey prize drawing will also be announced during the workshop. The “Meeker Community Survey Workshop” is open to all who are interested and light refreshments will be provided.

The Meeker Community Survey was made available over the past few months as part of the Meeker Moving Forward (www.meekermovingforward.com) effort. The survey offered residents the opportunity to chime in on topics such as: What do you love about living in Meeker? What ideas do you have for strengthening Meeker’s economy? What types of housing are needed in Meeker now and in the future? What recreational opportunities do you think should be pursued over the coming years? The goal of the survey was to collect responses from as many people as possible in hopes of having all voices and perspectives represented in planning for the town’s future.

Work on the Meeker Community Survey began in November 2019 and concluded on Jan. 6, 2020. The survey was fielded through mailed surveys to households in Meeker, as well as online. When surveying closed on Jan. 6, a total of 416 responses had been received.

“ERBM would like to thank all community members who took the time to complete the recent Meeker Moving Forward Community Survey, as well as the Town of Meeker for initiating this valuable feedback and planning process. This input will greatly assist in guiding decisions amongst a host of local partners as we work together to shape our collective future in a responsive and responsible manner,” said Sean VonRoenn, director of the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan (ERBM) Recreation and Park District.

Initial findings from the survey include:

  • About 70% of respondents report that they do less than half of their shopping in Meeker. The top reasons identified for shopping outside of Meeker include: not being able to find desired products/services; and, lower prices for products/services.
  • Most residents favor “moderate growth” (20-25 new people per year), followed by “slow growth” (10-15 people per year).

Survey respondents had the opportunity to weigh in on different types of tourism to focus local efforts on over the coming years. The top three options identified were: outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing; major events with a regional draw (eg. sheepdog trials); and outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and backpacking.

From a list of 15 potential recreation amenities in Meeker, enhancements to the river corridor emerged as the top priority. Winter-time outdoor activities and Ute Park enhancements also received relatively strong support.

Following a review of the initial survey results, Chris Lockwood, a local business owner and member of the Meeker Moving Forward Committee, noted “I am so happy to see the idea that the river is an ‘underutilized asset’ is shared by other Meeker citizens! Can’t wait to see where these ideas go!”

In addition to the community-wide survey, a secondary survey effort is currently underway. This surveying is focused on gathering input from local students. The results of this survey will be analyzed in conjunction with those collected via the Meeker Community Survey.

To learn more about Meeker Moving Forward please visit www.meekermovingforward.com; look for Meeker Moving Forward handouts, posters and signs around town; follow the Town of Meeker on Instagram and Facebook (@townofmeekerco and #meekertime); or, contact Lisa Cook (Meeker Town Administrator) at 970-878-4962 or lisa@town.meeker.co.us.

Special to the Herald Times