DOLA awards major utility grant to Meeker

MEEKER I The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) awarded the Town of Meeker an $825,000 grant to assist with extending the water and sanitation utilities to the Curtis Creek Industrial Park and out to Thornburgh Road.
In April 2013, a coalition including the Town of Meeker, Meeker Sanitation District, Pioneers Medical Center, Rio Blanco County and Meeker Fire and Rescue submitted an application to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Mineral and Energy Impact Funds for a grant.
“We felt this was the perfect project for DOLA funding,” Meeker Town Administrator Scott Meszaros said. “The project will help provide utilities to businesses that are currently using septic and hauling water, the extended lines will serve the replacement facility for Pioneers Medical Center, and it will set the stage for future commercial development on the northeast of town.”
This project has been a long time in the making.
For more than 20 years, various groups have looked at extending the water and sewer lines; but the cost has been too burdensome for any one entity.
With the Pioneers Medical Center replacement building being located on the north end of town, the need to serve existing businesses and the need for future commercial/industrial development, now is the perfect time to extend and strengthen our town utilities, he said.
All parties involved in the funding of this project will enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IA). A portion of that agreement will address the appropriate process to have future development pay to recoup a portion of the utility project costs.
The project will be overseen by Pioneers Medical Center, in order to streamline costs and to create efficiencies; the utility project will be done in conjunction with the medical facility replacement project.
“We expect to turn dirt on the utility project around May of 2014,” says Ken Harman, the chief executive officer of Pioneers. “All aspects of the design phase are moving along according to schedule; we will begin dirt work on the medical facility in March and the utility project in May, depending on the weather.”
The state Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance is funded from state severance tax and mineral lease revenues. These revenues are derived from oil, gas, carbon dioxide, coal and metals extracted in Colorado. The funds are used for grant or loans for projects in energy impacted areas.