No deal on bridge use for pond project

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Proposed reconstruction of Circle Park Pond including a park entry demo and rebuild. COURTESY IMAGE

MEEKER | Diana Jones and Janelle Urista, representing Skijor, came to Meeker’s town board of trustees Tuesday to express gratitude for the “seed money” the town gave to the first skijor event.

“We haven’t had the opportunity to come in and give our appreciation for your support,” Jones said. The first annual event, held in February this year, proved popular with participants and spectators alike, and planning for next year’s event is underway. Janelle Urista is the new skijor board president. 

Town trustees also approved a supplemental budget to account for coronavirus funding —  $180,839 — received as part of the CARES Act.

An indemnification agreement between the Town and TDA Construction to cover losses in the event of the failure of the Fifth Street (Circle Park) bridge was rejected by trustees. TDA was the low bidder for the park and recreation district’s Circle Park Pond Project. In recent weeks, TDA owner Travis Adams has requested access to the bridge as part of the construction process, taking up to 300 empty semi truck trips over the bridge. The individual truck weight is under the bridge’s weight limit, but town officials are concerned that the bridge is not structured for that type of frequent heavy use.

Full loads will be hauled out on a temporary road from Circle Park to the cemetery. 

If the bridge were to fail as a result of the truck traffic, the damage would likely be excluded from insurance coverage. A legal representative from CIRSA suggested the town ask TDA to provide a letter of credit that would cover any damages beyond an accident (which would be covered by insurance).

Adams told the board “it’s unprecedented to require me to get that.”

The board continued discussion about possible improvements to river access at Third and Tenth streets. Mayor Kent Borchard said he had reviewed the town’s 2006 comprehensive plan — which is now being updated — and said a plan for a river park to include fishing, tubing access and long term improvements “has been a subject of public discussion for 14 years.” 

Some local residents in attendance expressed concerns that any changes to the river corridor could exacerbate past problems with ice jams and flooding. 

The board agreed to continue the discussion at the Aug. 18 joint meeting with the rec district. 

In his remarks, Mayor Borchard said, “It’s the responsibility of everybody in the community to continue safe practices — mask wearing and social distancing,” to ensure we don’t have a surge in cases that will force the schools to consider shutting down or going to half-time in person attendance. 

Town Manager Lisa Cook told trustees they shouldn’t be surprised if the contractors for the Water Street water line replacement project request an extension. While replacing the old line, they’ve run into bottles, plates, chunks of iron, and even a gun, according to Public Works Director Russell Overton.

In a budget workshop following the regular meeting, Cook told trustees to “plan on an 11.5% reduction [in revenue] in 2021,” with more to come.