Split vote ends fall grazing, keeps spring calving in Ute Park

MEEKER | In a split vote that had to be decided by Mayor Kent Borchard, Meeker’s Board of Trustees approved a lease for the use of Ute Park for cattle grazing only during the spring calving season. In past years — since the Town purchased the property — there has been debate over its use as a park for hiking, walking, and public use versus leasing it to Smith Ranches for his cattle. Smith has leased the property for calving in the spring and grazing in the fall. This year the board voted 3-3 to only allow calving in the spring, with the deciding vote made by Mayor Borchard.

The board approved Leif Joy as a member of the town’s planning commission. Joy is also the RBC County Planner.

ERBM was getting the electric bill for Town Park when the Town should have been getting it. In 2019 the two boards agreed that the Rec District would pay for water at Sanderson Hills Park and the Town would pay for electric at Town Park. The difference amounts to about $3,000.

The board opened bids for a new police vehicle. The bid award will be decided at the next meeting.

In Mayor’s remarks, Borchard encouraged residents to continue abiding by COVID-19 safety recommendations.

Town Manager Lisa Cook reviewed the meeting schedule next week. On Feb. 8 there will be a meeting for the land use committee at 7 p.m., on Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. there will be a special meeting to consider special reviews. On March 2, there is a workshop with DOLA.

Trustee Pat Turner announced his resignation because of personal health issues related to mental health. “I don’t think it’s in the town’s best interest, since I can’t put the correct amount of interest in the town’s business right now, so I’m resigning.”

The board will advertise a vacancy, directing interested parties to complete the application. If there is more than one interested applicant, the board will have an opportunity to interview interested candidates prior to appointment.

Trustee Travis Day talked about establishing a leash law in town for dogs. ERBM already has a leash law in place in local parks. It would require an ordinance.

The board held additional discussion about the use of Town Park prior to adjourning.