Town turns down homeowner request

MEEKER I Homeowners along Sulphur Creek Road who will be affected by the forthcoming roundabout entrance into the new school, recreation center and fairgrounds, asked the town to build a parking area along the street in front of their properties. The board rejected the request for several reasons.
“My concern is our budget,” Day said. The suggested parking area would cost the town approximately $75,000.
Public Works Superintendent Russell Overton said safety was his main concern.“If we start letting people park along there we’re going to create a problem (with kids walking).”
Mayor Mandi Etheridge said approving the request would set an unwanted precedent.
“My concern is that we would be using governmental funds to do something that benefits a private individual’s property and that’s a precedent we don’t want to set,” she said.
“To continue to approve the expense of tens of thousands more dollars for something that will only benefit private property owners just doesn’t seem very ethical.”
The board unanimously agreed to proceed with the plan as it has already been put out to bid without additional modifications.
Rich Sales and Nicole Taylor Nutting from the Colorado Center for Community Development presented a conceptual plan for the future use of the present elementary school property and the courthouse square at the Board of Trustee’s April 12 meeting.
“Our job is to help small communities be the best they can, and we do that through design and architecture services,” Sales said. “Nothing is set, this is a means of opening conversation for you.”
Nutting presented nine potential ideas for renovating the building and surrounding property. February’s building assessment ruled that the 27,000 square foot building is structurally sound and capable of renovation.
The presentation pointed out the amount of space that would be available. For example, if used for independent living/congregate housing, the space has the potential to house up to 27 one-bedroom units, with a library and computer lab, keeping the existing kitchen and gym, storage and some office space.
“From an architectural standpoint, saving the building makes a lot of sense. Renovating is more efficient than starting over,” Nutting said.
The Powerpoint presentation with Nutting’s conceptual ideas will be available for the community to view.
The town’s April 12 meeting began by swearing in new trustee Danny Conrado and returning trustees Rodney Gerloff and Regas Halandras. Conrado replaces Chuck Mills, who opted not to run for re-election.
Meeker Mayor Mandi Etheridge was sworn in for another term, and Trustee Halandras was reappointed as Mayor Pro Tem.