Meeker trustees circle back to Circle Park and river discussion

Meeker’s Board of Trustees approved a $1,500 donation to the Meeker Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department to support the annual fireworks display. 

In the early years, the fire department went door-to-door asking for private donations. “Whatever we got, that’s what we were able to spend,” said Fire Chief Luke Pelloni.

Today the department budgets for the display, which averages $8,000. They’ve started setting aside some fireworks for the Christmas parade downtown. 

Trustee Melissa Kindall had some concerns about donating “taxpayer money” to another special district which also receives tax funding. The documentation presented to the town indicates the fire district has $5.4 million. 

The board approved the donation, stating it’s a benefit to the community and that it’s good to have the fire department putting on the show from a safety standpoint.

The board heard a presentation about the Circle Park Fluvial Assessment and Design project. Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District Executive Director Sean VonRoenn said he was acting as a liaison between the two boards “as we endeavor to move forward.”

Asked for a ballpark cost on just the river part of the conceptual design, the board was told to expect something in the range of $400 per linear foot. The initial project design is for 500-1000 feet of river restoration. The project is still in the conceptual phase. 

The board appointed Jay Edwards as the town’s municipal judge. Edwards, an employee of ERBM since 2018, was a municipal judge in Arkansas handling similar cases and received multiple letters of recommendation. 

The board approved amendments to the water fee schedule and appointed Chris Lockwood to the town planning commission.

Maym Cunningham with the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials asked the board for permission to install a memorial plaque for a longtime trials participant. The board approved.

Cunningham said the Classic board is “having an ongoing discussion” with stakeholders about the Classic in 2020. They expect to make a decision after Aug. 1. 

The board discussed concerns about use of the Circle Park bridge during construction of the ERBM fishing pond, coming to the conclusion that TDA Construction’s contract is with ERBM, not with the town. 

TDA wants to be able to use the bridge during the later state of pond construction, according to Mayor Kent Borchard, but the board already discussed the use of the bridge and “went to the trouble” to provide an alternative route from the south side of the river up to the cemetery. 

“When he was coming to us when this started, we told him to try to include the bridge in his proposal, and he told us numerous times everything would go up and down the hill [cemetery]. We gave him the terms, but I don’t feel we should have to negotiate with him. We gave him the terms,” said Trustee Travis Day.