Trustees approve Ute Park lease again

MEEKER | After considerable discussion, Meeker’s board of trustees approved, although not unanimously, the renewal of David Smith’s annual lease for the use of Ute Park for hay production and cattle pasture. Trustee Wendy Gutierrez expressed her opposition to renewing the lease again.
“Every day there’s a cow out there that tells the public it’s not a public park,” Gutierrez said. “I feel like the time has come that we start looking at making that park multi-use, available year-round, and not limiting it like we do. I feel like the cows are wagging the tail when it comes to Ute Park.”
Mayor Halandras said he understands Gutierrez’s perspective on the cows, but said it’s better to have the lower field maintained than to let it go to weeds.
“As a town we don’t have water out there at this point. The only reason the west end of that park is green is because we use the water out of that ditch,” he said.
Technically, Ute Park is a misnomer—the property is actually classified as open space, explained Town Manager Scott Meszaros.
“After 30 years we can do as we choose with it as a board,” Meszaros said.
In other business, the board approved liquor licenses for the Meeker Lions Club to serve alcohol at the Meeker Fire and Rescue annual dinner March 11 and the St. Pat’s Day Festival (a fundraiser for MS) on March 17, and renewed the liquor license for Holliday’s Bar and Grill.
The board approved a bid for a new police vehicle for $37,482 to a John Elway dealership in Denver, and agreed to waive a tap fee for the fire district to put in a 4 inch tap in the new building addition.
The also approved policy changes to the town’s personnel policy, tabled an ongoing discussion about a local preference purchasing policy, and approved a wording change for the town’s business grant program.