ERBM approves trail construction project contract

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MEEKER | “Am I not allowed to ask questions? Because if I’m not, I’m wasting my time and I want to know why.”

Meeker resident Wiley Berthelson opened Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan (ERBM) Recreation & Park District’s April 17 meeting, seeking information on a recent bid award for the Trails Improvement Project.

He was told he was not allowed to ask questions per bylaws put in place by a previous board, according to president Zach Clatterbaugh, but Berthelson asked anyway.

“I’m here because the difference in the money between the accepted bid and some of these other bids to me just is outlandish. I can’t see any logic in it whatsoever. Obviously one of my questions is some of these other people that bid, if they just weren’t qualified, I think people like me would be way more understanding of this process. I’m concerned about the way this was done. Were these bids opened in public?” Clatterbaugh responded that they were (although stated later in the meeting that the bids actually had not been opened in public, but are available for review.) “There was a ceiling on this process, right? On the amount of money that anybody could bid?” (Berthelson was referring to the chosen bid originally coming in $6,000 over budget.) He was then told his five minutes were up.

Clatterbaugh stated, “We went with Progressive Trail Design because Progressive Trail Design has done two projects for us in the past. They’ve done an absolutely outstanding job.”

After an executive session to discuss personnel matters and seek legal counsel, the board continued the meeting, approving a construction contract for Progressive Trail Design with a revised total amount of $143,745.73.

In other business, the Board approved minutes and financials and adopted new Saturday pool hours, moving opening time from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sean VonRoenn, Executive Director, also provided an update on the Circle Park Pond Project, told the Board they’d be backing off on Moffat County’s request to use the pool for swim team until the school district “has their ducks in a row”, and discussed the quarterly financial report, progress on the district’s Strategic Action Plan and results of an internal communications survey.

The May 29 meeting will feature fresh faces as three new board members will be sworn in.

The Meeker Chamber and Herald Times will host a public forum for the candidates on April 30 at 6 p.m. at the Fairfield Center.