Supply issues nix spraying

MEEKER | After many years of debate about the town’s aerial mosquito spraying program, it appears the decision is out of local hands this year. Lanny Coulter, pilot, said he has been unable to procure the permethrin used in spraying. Supply chain issues are to blame, according to various reports. Spraying traditionally occurs just before the 4th.

Deirdre Macnab of the White River Alliance said that group recently heard a presentation by Moffat County’s pest control director about an integrated approach to mosquito control, saying most counties have switched to an integrated program. She added that Wade Cox, president of the Lower White Pest Control District, has told the Alliance they are primarily using larvicide now on the west side of the county, with fogging used only as needed, and seeing better and longer-lasting results.

Residents are encouraged to address mosquito breeding grounds themselves, while the town continues researching the cost and feasibility of larger-scale application of larvicide, or BTI, in place of the aerial spraying.

Lee Overton of Overton Recycling was asked to update the board on the actual cost of the town’s recycling program. The Town has subsidized the program for several years to make it free for residents. It’s popular within the community. In the 2022 budget, the Town cut the subsidy to $7,500, or $625 a month, down from $15,000 the previous year. Overton said his costs to break even are about $2,500 a month. The board agreed to increase the monthly amount for the remainder of the year by $1,875, to preserve the program.

Trustees approved special event liquor licenses for the Meeker Lions Club Range Call events, a premises modification for Ol’ Crows liquor store to add a storage room at the rear of the building and a home occupation special review permit for Sarah Powell at 760 Second St. Powell plans to rent outdoor recreation equipment like inflatable paddle boards and kayaks from her garage, and a $2,000 donation to the RBC Fire Protection District in support of the July 4 fireworks display, up from the usual $1,500. Zack Allen, speaking for the fire department, said the price for shells “went way up” this year and availability was limited.

The board had a lengthy discussion about the professional services agreement with SWCA for the river improvement project and directed staff to make requested modifications to the agreement.

Etheridge updated the board on the Just Transition grant application status. Town staff is discussing “transition strategy” and Etheridge proposed a board workshop on July 5 to discuss Just Transition.

Etheridge said supply chain issues are causing delays for the water line replacement on Garfield St. and for the water load-out.

Chief of Police Ed Thompson said there have, to this point, been no issues with the “Rainbow People” coming through town on their way to the Adams Park area of Routt County for their annual gathering, but that only a few have arrived. For the Meeker PD, there were 276 calls in May resulting in three arrests and 14 summons. The department is fully staffed right now.

Carly Thomson, community development and planning director, said she attended a networking event last week sponsored by Sen. Bennet’s office and the El Pomar Foundation, where she attended a housing focus group. The town will hold a housing workshop on July 26. Thomson is also working on land use code updates and requested feedback from the board on proposed changes.

Town Clerk Lisa Cook said the town is expecting its second American Rescue Plan payment “any time now” and is beginning to put together the 2023 budget.

Etheridge said the Colorado Municipal League is holding its District 11 Fall meeting in Meeker in September. Asked about the status of the Meeker fire break project — a joint venture between the county and BLM — she said no updates have been provided.

Trustee Travis Day, who is also on the Meeker Sanitation District Board, said the Sanitation District has been awarded a Department of Local Affairs grant of approximately $700K that will be used for improvements and maintenance at the sewer plant.

Trustee Scott Nielsen reported on the R100 event, saying more than 300 paid participants attended, in addition to spectators and many volunteers from the community, to pull off another successful event.


By NIKI TURNER – editor@ht1885.com

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