Skijoring competition coming to Meeker

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MEEKER | Meeker will join a list of communities in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Utah this winter to host a skijoring competition in conjunction with Skijor USA’s competition circuit.

“They want Meeker to be part of their racing series this year,” Meeker Drugs proprietor Diana Jones told the town’s board of trustees Thursday.

In a skijoring event, skiers are pulled behind a horse down a preferably flat racecourse and timed for points. Teams travel from race to race, gaining points for the national finals which will be held in West Yellowstone, Montana this year.

“This is a community event,” Jones said. “It could be the event in the winter that the sheepdog trials is in the fall.”

Resident Kitty Clemens, who attended a skijoring event in Pinedale, Wyoming, has made a connection with the Saratoga Cowboys, which will host its third annual event in 2020.

“They’ve volunteered to come help us set up the track,” Jones said.

“They build a track so the horses are running on dirt [or asphalt] and the skiers are on snow. Participation is capped at 50 and they sell out right away,” Clemens said. “It’s a pretty big deal to have the Saratoga Cowboys say they will come and build our track the first year.”

Meeker has been added to the Skijor USA 2020 calendar for Feb. 29-March 1. It will be the last event in the circuit before the finals. Held on a Saturday and Sunday, a race weekend also includes a Snow Ball party and a Calcutta with another party.

The board discussed whether Main Street or Ute Park would be better suited for setting up the track, and approved an $800 contribution toward planning and promotion for the event.

“We’ve been looking for something to fill the winter months for so long,” Jones said. “I really think it will help Meeker out during those months.”

In other action during the board’s final meeting in 2019:

Public Works Supervisor Russell Overton said the new meters on the town’s well system have given his department “an accurate way of measuring” the town’s water use, saying the old calculations were off by as much as four million gallons.

Approved a liquor license renewal for Blanco Cellars. Blanco will be moving to a new location after the first of the year.

On advice of legal counsel, the board repealed a resolution adopted earlier this year regarding the town’s role in the Meeker Housing Authority (MHA) and approved Resolution 13-2019 which states the town will seek citizens to sit on an interim board for the MHA. The town is seeking three to five residents for the board, which would make decisions for the MHA, including the possibility of selling the two MHA-managed properties.

Discussed adding parking to Ute Park for visibility and better access to the trails. The BLM has additional trails planned for the park.

Discussed a lease agreement with Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) for the second story of the Town Hall building, including allowing CNCC to store items in the space until the lease is signed and executed after the first of the year. The town will not be charging CNCC rent for the space, and CNCC has asked if the town would consider replacing the carpet. The board consensus was that there could be a contingency in the lease for the town to cover up to $10,000 of the cost of carpeting, which could be as much as $30,000 based on earlier estimates.

Approved a special event liquor permit for a New Year’s Eve party at the Hugus Building. Proceeds from the permit will benefit the Meeker Arts and Cultural Council. Tickets for the event are available at various locations around town.

Adopted the 2020 budget for the Town of Meeker.

By Niki Turner | editor@ht1885.com