ERBM shuts down after staff COVID-19 outbreak

ERBM Photo

MEEKER | Due to at least two positive COVID-19 cases among ERBM staff members, the Meeker Recreation Center shutdown starting on Tuesday Nov. 17. As a result of the closure, during the Rec District Board Directors meeting Tuesday staff requested guidance from the board about compensating staff who were unable to come to work because of being quarantined. Options discussed included having employees access Emergency Paid Leave Act benefits and funding employee pay with remaining $42,000 of COVID-19 relief funds.

The board agreed to continue paying quarantined employees for at least the next two weeks using regular operating funds. Both the board and staff agreed to leave the other options available for future use when they might be more in need of the funding. Staff plans to pursue additional COVID relief funding.

Director VonRoenn said “there is enough of an impact and a spread,” but declined to discuss specifics about how many employees within the district had tested positive. When talking about a potential reopening date he said it probably wouldn’t be until the week after Thanksgiving in order for staff to be able to follow through with quarantining recommendations. He reiterated that the date was pretty fluid based on public health restrictions and case count numbers within staff and the community.


Rec District Executive Director Sean VonRoenn shared the latest on a leak from the Meeker Rec Center Lap Pool. After some emergency repair work was approved by the board of directors during their October meeting, R&R Aquatics returned to perform temporary repairs of surface cracks in the lap pool.

During that project on Oct. 20 and 21, R&R Aquatics indicated that the main source of the leak was not the surface cracks, but the main fill line. R&R then installed a plug on the line and assisted with other steps to temporarily bypass the main fill line as an “operational workaround.” Eventually the main fill line needs to be repaired.

R&R returned again a week later to “locate the exact placement of the leak to assist in estimating a final repair recommendation.” During that visit a subcontractor with R&R performed various tests and isolated the leak to “just outside the Pump Room door, approximately 1 foot, 8 inches below the surface.” Total leak-related inspection and repair work to date totals $10,009.06.

Thus far staff has recommended completing the more extensive repair work during a maintenance shutdown closure planned for May 2021. A full resurfacing of the lap pool is also scheduled that same week. A reopening date is still to be determined until more is known about what the main fill line repair might entail. Director vonRoenn also noted that contingencies would need to be built into the project in case something like a structural analysis needed to be done. Currently the district has $70,000 earmarked for the project.

Since the project will cost more than $60,000, it will need to be publicly bid in 2021 before contracting and scheduling can occur. ERBM staff will present the Board of Directors with an official repair cost estimate in December.


The Rec Center Roof project is proceeding and scheduled to wrap on Nov. 30. Due to weather, and some “unanticipated work stoppages” the Circle Park pond project could get delayed, but contractor TDA is hopeful to still wrap by the end of the year. VonRoenn said staff was pursuing a potential easement contract extension with the Cemetery District in case final work is not completed in December.


The calendar presented by staff includes the board’s regular meeting schedule for 2021, a February workshop on a “new cost recovery and fee proposal,” and a May workshop to kickstart budget forecasting and planning for the 2022 budget. The calendar will be finalized for adoption by the board in December.


Rio Blanco County Golf Association “had a terrific year” according to board president Kyle Hooks. Hooks talked about the success of the junior golf program, 12 new carts leased from Yamaha this year, and a few course maintenance/repair projects. The RBC Golf Association did not request much funding from the rec district for 2021 aside from $2,000 for junior clubs and other related accessories which was approved by the board.


Tax revenues are a little short, Director Strate said he wasn’t sure if the rest would come in noting that the district “usually over collects projected tax revenues.”

In total revenue the district should be “in a good spot” according to Strate.
For personnel the district is expecting to end up around $2,000 in the black.
The district overspent by $5,000 on minor equipment but underspent on other items under equipment and supplies.

Staff said revenue/expenditure projections for 2020 “look pretty good.”
The board also reviewed vouchers related to the pond project that will leave the district “with approximately $100,000 less.” Strate added that the district could get that money back after submitting for a grant from the state. Other vouchers reviewed were for legal fees, including ongoing fees being incurred due to “a lot of back and forth between the state and our water attorney,” according to Strate.

Final costs discussed were just over $1,000 for a generator, a “minor furniture purchase” and a cost for credit card fraud after someone used a district card to make a fraudulent purchase that was expected to be refunded to the district.