ERBM approves $1M pool HVAC repair, $250K for pond project

HT Photo

MEEKER I ERBM’s board of directors met Sept. 21 and reviewed the preliminary 2022 budget, which shows a 10% reduction in budgeted wages, and 7% decrease in the personnel budget overall. Operations is slated for an 8% decrease.

Those cuts will help balance a 10% decrease in district tax revenue, down from just over $3 million in 2020, to about $2.8 million in 2021, to just over $2.5 million budgeted for 2022.

Board member Travis Mobley congratulated ERBM staff on successful efforts to shave down the 2022 personnel and operations budget.

The board then moved into scheduled and non-schedule capital improvement project discussions. 

Scheduled capital improvement projects (CIP) are slated to cost $1.4 million in 2022 and include a debris strainer replacement project, a second soffit repair, and a decision to replace fitness room treadmills as they break instead of all at once for $50,000.

The board also approved a natatorium HVAC replacement for approximately $1 million. The current unit is undersized and is creating humidity buildup and temperature problems that are damaging the building.

The non-scheduled project on the agenda is a continuation of the Circle Park Pond project. The board discussed possible grants and construction timeline questions, as well as the use of CTF funds to pay for the work. The board also discussed the Town of Meeker board setting aside $250,000 for the project. This amount has been included in the town’s draft budget, but has not been formally approved. 

Board member Dan Chinn continued to hold a position against spending any more on the pond. “I think it’s totally irresponsible spending these funds given the climate that we’re in … I think it’s a big mistake.”

The board approved going forward with $250,000 budgeted for continued work at Circle Park and along the river corridor, contingent on no overruns and receipt of additional grant money as well as the $250K from the Town of Meeker. The board took a vote for the record, with directors Kent Walter, Rob Baughman, Mobley, and John Strate voting for, and director Chinn voting against.

The district’s preliminary budget showed a $2,042,000 fund reduction prior to the board discussing non-scheduled CIP.

A budget hearing will take place Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Meeker Recreation Center.