Steps toward school’s future

Meeker mayor Mandi Etheridge signed the paperwork to cancel the school district’s lease on the former Main Street elementary school. Some discussion is still underway between the school district and the town about property improvements which still need to be addressed.  
“I certainly hope they (the district) will be able to come back and do what they can to make the changes we’ve asked for,” Etheridge said. “I have faith in town staff to coordinate what needs to be done with them.”
After last Thursday’s workshop, which included a walk-through of the old school and discussion about the future of the building, trustees were able to come to an agreement on what steps to implement.
“I thought it was rather productive. I’m pleased that we all got on the same page,” Etheridge said.
Town staff and the board agreed to first review the asbestos plan that was in place and see if it needs to be updated or revised. Second, town staff is preparing a community survey, targeted specifically for seniors, to determine if there is, in fact, “solid interest” in developing the site as some form of assisted living for senior citizens. Such an endeavor would be managed by a private entity, not the town, Trustee Halandras reminded the staff. Third, the town plans to put together a request for a proposal of interest to find out if there are any private developers or other entities who “would be interested in a lovely old building on Main Street,” Etheridge added.
The town conducted a joint workshop with the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District to discuss having the district take over the parks the town currently maintains over the course of the next few years.
Town Administrator Sharon Day asked the board to apply donations designated for the animal shelter to be used to buy a new washer and dryer for the shelter. The donations were received in memory of Mary Clark, who passed away in 2008.
Day also presented the board with an opportunity to buy a horizontal baler for the recycling center. The town has been looking for a horizontal baler for several years.
“They are a hot item,” Day said. The horizontal baler is “less labor-intensive” than the vertical baler now in use and would also be able to bale aluminum and plastic, as well as cardboard and paper. Day said she received an offer to buy a quality used baler for approximately $43,000, just over half the amount the town has budgeted in past years. The board approved the request.
In other business:
n Chief of Police Bob Hervey asked the board to consider approving a request from the police department to join Lexipol, an oversight group which maintains and updates police policies and procedures and provides daily officer training bulletins. The program particularly focuses on high-risk situations such as use of force and high-speed chases, and has been proven beneficial in other departments in cases of litigation. The town’s insurance provider supports the program, and will provide a portion of the fee to enroll.
n David Murray requested a home occupation permit to sell new and used archery/ATV equipment, accessories, etc. at 237 Garfield St. The board approved the permit on the unanimous recommendation of the planning commission.
n The board approved a request from the public works department to construct a 20x30x10 foot sand shelter behind the public works shop on 111 Third St. The shelter will cover the sand used for winter maintenance.
n The board approved a bid for the Cleveland Street repaving project in the amount of $253,785 from Grand River Construction.