Town approves donations

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MEEKER | The Meeker Board of Trustees revisited a request from the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District to share the cost for a study for future river enhancement projects. ERBM Executive Director Sean VonRoenn was present, along with ERBM board member Rob Baughman and, by phone, a representative from the consulting firm were present with a revised proposal in response to questions raised by trustees at the previous board meeting.

The revised proposal presented Tuesday limits the scope of the study to three specific sections of the river corridor: Circle Park, Third Street and 10th Street, but will cost the same amount. VonRoenn explained that the costs for the study shifted to be more in-depth for the three sections, as opposed to an overall study of the river corridor through town.

“The original proposal was to split the cost,” VonRoenn said. “We would now propose that the town take on the cost for the Third Street and 10th Street part of the study.” That amount is a little more than $16,000, about half of the overall study cost.

VonRoenn stressed that collaboration between the two entities, which was discussed in workshops last fall, increases competitiveness for grant funding to implement the proposals.

The revised proposal will include a more “in depth” study of the riverbank and channel along Circle Park to address the bank erosion and determine what to expect during different flow rates. It will also include conceptual ideas for river access at Third Street and at 10th Street.

The board moved to approve its part of the cost for the study.

“We’ve been moving in this direction for a long time,” said Mayor Regas Halandras. Improved river recreation and river access were frequently mentioned in the survey and discussions surrounding Meeker’s comprehensive plan update.

The board also approved a $3,000 donation to the Meeker Lions Club for the purchase of new playground equipment to be installed at the school administration building. Representing the Lions Club, Dale Smith told the board that the school district and the recreation district completed the necessary groundwork and the Lions Club is seeking donations to purchase new equipment. The cost of the new equipment — one feature for ages 2-5 and one for ages 5-12 — are expected to cost $45,000 to $50,000.

Trustees approved a $500 sponsorship for the Meeker Sportsman’s Club to sponsor the youth range at the R100 archery event scheduled for June 12-14. The donation was discussed at the last meeting but could not be voted on because there wasn’t a quorum.

Kirk Hossack with the White River Snowmobile Club presented a $2,500 request for funding for a marketing project with Boondock Nation, which produces snowmobiling videos. For $15,000, Hossack said, Boondock Nation will create three episodes centered around Meeker’s snowmobiling amenities. Meeker Lodging Tax has pledged half of the funding.

“It’s a good opportunity for the Town of Meeker to get the name out there for winter recreation,” Hossack said.

The board also renewed lease agreements for the use of Ute Park with the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials and David Smith Ranches.

By Niki Turner | editor@ht1885.com