ERBM fee increase, Circle Park update

MEEKER | The ERBM Board of Directors met Tuesday, May 11, to discuss the following business.

FEE INCREASES

The ERBM Board of Directors approved facility fee increases during their monthly meeting Tuesday, including both drop-in and punch pass fees for the Meeker Recreation Center. A packet presented to the board Tuesday notes that the center’s fees have remained unchanged since the facility first opened in 2008. Up until this year MRC charged between $2 and $4 for drop-in usage depending on age. The resolution approved by the board Tuesday increases fees at all age ranges by $2, as recommended by district staff. The meeting packet also points out that the increase puts Meeker’s rec center fees more in line with similar centers, such as the Rifle and Craig outdoor pools.

Board members all agreed that the price changes seemed reasonable since they have not been updated for a while. Price increases will go into effect on Aug. 16, 2021.

ERBM Executive Director Sean VonRoenn also briefly discussed the “cost recovery schedule” in the meeting packet, meant to function as a “teaser” for upcoming cost recovery schedules, including new service categories and broad reference of “restructuring” existing service categories.

FINANCIALS

The board also approved monthly financial reports during their meeting. Director John Strate said things were “moving again” in reference to 2020, noting that drop-in and membership revenues were up. Following a trend, investment earnings are down. Under vouchers, Strate said legal fees are low, but would likely increase next month, considering VonRoenn’s recent “lengthy conversations” about water rights with attorneys.

In further discussion of water rights, VonRoenn referenced a myriad of legal red tape based on the highly-regulated nature of water in the state. He estimated the district’s water right approval would likely be hung up in a bureaucratic process for multiple months. “The end is in sight,” he said “but it’s looking like several more months.”

CIRCLE PARK

VonRoenn also shared an update on the Circle Park pond project, which is set to wrap up soon. He said the district hoped final work would be completed “in the next week or so” before a final invoice for unpaid services is sent out. The project, originally budgeted at $275,000, has cost just over $667,000 in total expenses for everything from legal fees on obtaining water rights, engineering, construction and more. Thanks to some grants and other donations towards the project, including $100,000 from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the net total cost of the project as of this month is $465,011. Director Strate mentioned that the board had been hoping to leverage more grant funding for the project, which was part of the reason for the difference.

VonRoenn and others also discussed unanticipated costs including repairs/upgrades and “cleaning up” existing infrastructure at the park, including the relocation of an irrigation pump for the cemetery district, which cost $14K.

Some of the single largest expenses noted on the construction side of the project include a $35K fishing pier, two inlet/outlet bridges for $15K each, a head gate structure for $20K and $55K for a “new timber pavilion,” which is listed in the closeout report, but has not been invoiced. The district has also spent just under $50K for design/engineering/permitting, and a little over $36K for permitting/legal-water rights.


By LUCAS TURNER | lucas@ht1885.com