Highway project curbed

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MEEKER — In a sign of the times, the town’s curb and gutter project on Highway 13 is on hold, due to uncertainty about the economy.
At a special meeting Nov. 24, members of the town board opted to delay the road project.
“We decided to wait and see what the economy is doing until after the first of the year, and then decide if we will apply for money,” Town Administrator Sharon Day said. “So we just tabled it for now. We’ll take a look at some of the issues around, and then decide whether to apply for a grant or not. But we want to wait and see what the economy will do.”
Day said the town received a contractor’s estimate of $1.3 million for the project, but the town’s engineer came up with a $2.6 million price tag.
“The estimate from our engineer came in at way above budget,” said Meeker Mayor Mandi Etheridge. “In fact, way above what the board felt comfortable with as far as making a capital investment. So we decided it would be better to table the project and look toward some other possible capital investments for 2009.”
The project called for replacing all of the curbing, guttering and sidewalks along Highway 13, on both sides of Market Street, from the Rio Blanco County administration building to 13th Street.
“There would be money to begin (the project); we didn’t take it out of the budget,” Day said. “We’re just not moving forward.”