Market St. crosswalks coming

MEEKER I With Mayor Kent Borchard at the helm for the first time, the Meeker Board of Trustees met Tuesday for the regular board meeting.

The board appointed town officers: Administrator Lisa Cook, Clerk Amy Tupy, Attorney Melody Massih, Municipal Judge Laurie Noble and swore in new Chief of Police Edward Thompson (story on page 7A).

The board opened bids for the crossing project at Market and Fifth streets. The bid will be awarded at the next meeting.

Entered into an agreement with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the Main Street program. The local Main Street group, Project 45, is led by Meeker Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stephanie Kobald.

Authorized an $8,400 contract with Foxz Creative for website design and development, and a new logo design that will be easier to reproduce.

Waived water tap fees for Meeker School District for the new bus garage.

Discussed and agreed to a plan to replace a fence at Ute Park at the request and expense of the Meeker Classic with approval from Public Works Superintendent Russell Overton and Ute Park lessee David Smith.

The board also discussed this summer’s mosquito control plan. Whether the town should continue using traditional pesticides or switch to larvicides has been the subject of much debate for the town in previous years.

Town Administrator Lisa Cook said she spoke with pilot Lanny Coulter, who the town contracts with for aerial mosquito spraying. Coulter told her it would be possible for him to use larvicide, but someone would need to monitor conditions to identify the most appropriate time for application. Cook said they have FAA approval for use of either method.

Asked whether we have access to local data on pesticide efficacy, Trustee Melissa Kindall said Beth Hollowed, a former Meeker student and 4-H member, compiled 10 years worth of data regarding which insects and how many of each kind are killed by the annual pesticide spraying. Her findings corroborated Dr. Bob Dorsett’s argument and findings that the pesticide spray kills more beneficial insects — including honeybees — than it does mosquitos.

The board and staff will do further research to see what would be required for the use of larvicide before making a decision.

In Cook’s report, she said the boiler at Town Hall needs $6,900 in repairs; the school district asked to use Ute Park for a “drive-in” graduation ceremony on June 6 in the evening; the next planning commission and board meeting related to the comprehensive plan update will be May 11 from 6-8 p.m.; and the town has received the DOLA contract for the Water Street water project.

Town Attorney Melody Massih said she would check into whether the town can legally rent space in the Town Hall building to a private entity after a local realtor asked about the upstairs offices that are currently vacant.

Cook said the apartments at 13th and Park streets are expected to be demolished this summer. The property owners are in the process of filing for a state demolition permit and plan to rebuild on the same footprint. Whether they can do so may require a change in the town’s building code to allow for alley access.

Trustee Wendy Gutierrez asked about code enforcement regarding lots in Sanderson Hills subdivision that are “being used for storing junk,” which triggered a question from Trustee Scott Creecy about the number of chickens allowed in town and Mayor Borchard mentioned another property that may be a code enforcement issue.

Massih said she has been “keeping an eye on things” regarding the public health orders coming from the state. For business owners, particularly restaurants, the reopening process has been confusing and unclear for owners and patrons, Gutierrez said.

Massih said the restaurant reopening rules are coming from the state’s restaurant association.

The board also discussed water rates and tap fees, and whether it’s time to revisit those fees at a later date.

Following the regular meeting, the board held a workshop to discuss 2020 business grant awards.