Reserves needed to balance 2020 Meeker budget

MEEKER | Tuesday was the final hearing for the 2020 town of Meeker budget, which will be formally adopted at the Dec. 12 meeting.

The total budget for the general fund, with changes made since the October presentation, totals $3,463,166. Of that, $1,407,392 is budgeted for capital improvements including $400,000 in improvements to the town facilities on Third Street, $137,617 for the comprehensive plan and land use code update, $275,000 in street improvement projects, and continuing support for various other programs and projects. The town will have to dip into its reserves by $1,112,773 to balance the general fund.

The water fund budget is $2,636,857, of which $2,015,020 is budgeted for capital improvements including $1.3 million for water line replacement on Market Street, $183,700 for overflow line replacement on Seventh Street, $45,000 for monitors and electronics for the flow meters at the well field, and $378,000 to complete the well field project if it is not finished by the end of 2019.

$1,358,097 of reservices will be required to balance the water fund.

Estimated property taxes are expected to generate $211,771.

Dr. Bob Dorsett addressed Meeker’s board of trustees Tuesday regarding mosquito control in the 2020 budget.

“I would suggest there might be money available for the full mosquito management program as was discussed a couple years ago,” Dorsett said. He suggested some of the $60,000 that was set aside for the Better City contract could be allocated toward a mosquito integration management program in cooperation with the county.

Mayor Regas Halandras said the town had contacted Vector Disease Control International (the company that presented a plan to the town previously) but never heard anything back.

Police Chief Phil Stubblefield said he’s hopeful that the department will have a new officer in December, “if everything falls into line.” The department had 287 calls/contacts for service in October.

There will be three board seats and the mayor’s chair up for election in April: Wendy Gutierrez, Travis Day and Melissa Kindall’s seats are all up for re-election, and Mayor Regas Halandras is term-limited. The municipal election will be held in April by mail ballot.

The board appointed Kitty Clemens to the Meeker Planning Commission to fill a vacancy. Clemens was the only applicant for the seat.

The board approved a suggestion from Hopewest to officially declare November 2019 as Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

They also approved a letter of support for the BLM White River Field Office for an OHV grant that, on this will create more “open area” OHV riding opportunities. On this side of the county, the open areas would be on LO7. Funding would be used for parking, signage, informational kiosks and more.

Community surveys regarding the town’s comprehensive plan update have been mailed. Residents can respond by mail or online and are encouraged to share their ideas about Meeker’s future direction.