‘Open for Business’ grants coming soon

MEEKER I The June water report from Public Works Superintendent Russell Overton wasn’t the highest water usage, but at more than 3 million gallons, is still “a lot of water.” The town has been encouraging residents to conserve water.

Mayor Kent Borchard said he has received some comments and concerns about “tents” and trash on town property in the Sanderson Hills subdivision. 

Police Chief Eddie Thompson said there were 364 incidents in June resulting in three arrests, but added the Fourth of July was fairly quiet. “The biggest problem was during the fireworks,” he told the board during his monthly update. “We only had a handful of reports that people called in, and one citation was issued this year.”

Town Manager Mandi Etheridge said the town has been working with Margie Joy at the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority to let owners of rental properties know there are low interest loans available.  

Bids have been sent out for the bulk water building on Third Street. A mandatory walk-through is scheduled for Monday. 

In regular business, the board approved a Lions Club liquor permit during the Rio Blanco County Fair on Aug. 6, and a special events liquor license for the Fair Board on Aug. 7. Clint Shults told the board the liquor license would be in effect during the livestock sale, and there would be a street dance that evening to celebrate the centennial of the Fair this year. 

Trustees also approved a $1,000 donation to sponsor the Kansas City barbecue competition during the fair. It’s the first time the competition will be in Rio Blanco County.

The board also approved a transfer of $2 million to a new investment option with ColoTrust in the hopes the new option will generate a better return on the investment. 

Trustees had a lengthy discussion about the Land Use Code revisions. The contracted consultant has reportedly not completed the work in a timely fashion. The project total is approximately $210,000, most of which is supplied through a Department of Local Affairs grant. 

Borchard also said he and Etheridge met with ERBM executive director Sean VonRoenn and ERBM Board President Kent Walter to discuss items that will be brought forward during an upcoming joint meeting. According to Borchard, ERBM wants more financial participation from the town to go toward maintenance operations for the parks. The Town and ERBM have an ongoing agreement for the rec district to manage the town’s parks. 

Etheridge said the town has been awarded two grants. A $5,000 technical assistance grant from Associate Governments of Northwest Colorado will help with engineering costs for the Third Street sidewalk project. Officer Justin Yates with the Meeker Police Department applied for a $48,000 grant to put toward patrol car computers. 

Etheridge also said the Town, with the Main Street: Project 45 group, is “putting together a strategy” for the Open for Business grant that will provide funds for downtown businesses to improve facades or make energy upgrades to their buildings. The Meeker Chamber of Commerce will be notifying businesses about the grant, which requires a 20% match from the business.

By NIKI TURNER – editor@ht1885.com

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