Center Town Trustees meeting discusses future development plans

Photo of Meeting by Mechel Meek Housing is considered the greatest need according to a Town of Center community survey. Results of the survey were presented to Town of Center Trustees on Sept. 14.

CENTER — The Town of Center held its regular monthly town Trustee’s meeting on Sept. 14 at Center Town Hall.

The Police Department report was delivered by Center Chief of Police Dale Meek. Meek shared that the Neighborhood Watch email chain will be upping the number of emails delivered to the members of Neighborhood Watch so that citizens can be informed about current crime trends.

He also shared that a CPD officer resigned and that the department will be beginning a hiring process to find a replacement and to create a list of potential hires for the future.

Meek said, “We are going to create a hiring list of the top five candidates that will be used whenever we need to fill a position.”

Meek also requested approval to purchase two dogs that the department will train and then sell to other law enforcement agencies. The money from this will be used to support CPD's K-9 program. Trustees approved $11,900 to purchase the dogs. The CPD K-9 program would earn around $7,000 by reselling the police-trained dogs.

“I like the idea that the program will be bringing money into the K-9 program,” Trustee Adeline Sanchez stated.

Meek explained that “the program is moving fast because we didn’t foresee the demand by other agencies for dogs.”

The CPD is one of only a small number of agencies in Colorado that have a K-9 training program.

The Public Works report was delivered by Dave Mehaffie who explained that the water meter project is still being worked out. Broken lids on several meters are set to be fixed.

However, the water meter programming for calculating bills has had issues. This month they cannot charge by water use because of the computer programming issue, and billing will be done the old way until the programming issue is fixed for these meters.

Mehaffie also discussed that natural gas wholesale prices continue to rise and that prices may be an ongoing issue.

Town Manager Brian Lujan delivered the Managers report and stated that the town is still focusing on housing, skilled labor, and youth entrepreneurship regarding development. Once the first phase, which is mostly research and planning, is done, next year's focus will be on the implementation of these plans.

Money will be coming into the town budget from the opioid settlement, which will be used to combat drug-related problems in the town.

Initial survey results were given by VISTA volunteer Keith Brockhurst.

“This is the first of several surveys that I hope to complete this year, to hear the community's thoughts and desires about future development,” Brockhurst said.

Housing is considered the greatest need according to the survey respondents. Another focus of the survey was what people want to see brought into town, specificially restaurants, coffee shops, and a recreation center.

The survey also noted that residents want to see more trade and skilled jobs for workers.

Currently, money leaves the town because people leave for food and entertainment, according to Brockhurst.

“It’s great to get everyone thinking about it and talking about it," stated Trustee Mary McClure.

Lujan said that the town needs to set dynamic goals for the future that grow and change depending on the community's desires for future development.