Water use climbs in Meeker

MEEKER | Meeker’s board of trustees heard a request from the Fair Board for a $1,000 donation to help fund prize money for a new event this year: a barbecue competition in conjunction with the Kansas City Barbecue Society’s “Backyard Cookoff” contest series. Fair Board president Quentin Smith said the event is part of a national tour and includes a children’s contest as well. Town staff requested the Fair Board file the necessary paperwork prior to approval.

In department updates, Public Works Superintendent Russell Overton said the water department was pumping 1,800 gallons of water per minute on Tuesday.

“We’re stressing the system right now,” Overton said, adding, “Right now everything is holding steady.”

Lisa Cook, Town Manager, suggested implementing a public education campaign about water conservation. “In June, we’re pumping the amount of water we normally pump in August,” Cook said.

The annual repainting of the crosswalks and parking lines downtown has been hindered somewhat by a paint shortage, Overton said. Town staff is working with what they have on hand.

The board approved special events permits for the Lions Club’s Range Call activities; approved a $1,500 donation to the Range Call committee to help offset the cost of renting a stage for the concert; and approved a $1,500 request for funding from the Rio Blanco Fire Protection District toward the purchase of fireworks for the Fourth of July show.

Accountant Marlo Coats presented the Town’s 2020 financial audit, noting that the Town has no long-term debts.

The board also approved scheduling and funding the annual mosquito spraying program through Coulter Aviation just before Range Call festivities.

Mandi Etheridge was officially sworn in to her new position as Town Clerk.

The board approved a “modification of premises” permit for Chipper’s to expand their outdoor dining options on nights they serve food through the construction of a “parklet” similar to the ones outside Meeker Drugs and the White River Museum.

Cook said Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is working this week on the connecting trail at Ute Park. The Town expects to receive it’s first American Rescue Plan payment of $283,000 in the next week or two, with a second payment to follow within 12 months.

“So far it looks like water infrastructure is what we can use it for,” Cook said.

Additional grant funding for local businesses opens July 1. The Main St. Open for Business grants can be applied to facade and energy improvements.

By NIKI TURNER – editor@ht1885.com