Business in Action group takes off

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Nobody is more thrilled about how a simple Friday morning breakfast discussion group has evolved into such a citizen action committee than Tony Wiess.

"Call it brainstorming, idea swapping or a think tank, when you get ideas and suggestions out on the table mixed with other ideas, you get results that benefit the whole community," Wiess said. "That is good."

Tony and his wife, Dee Wiess, are the owners of Fawn Creek Gallery. Both are part of the newly formed Meeker Business in Action group, and Tony is the chairman of the group.

The Wiesses said MBA really took off when Meeker Town Manager Sharon Day came to the Friday Breakfast Club with a request for help to stimulate business in town. From that plea, MBA was born.

The group started with three goals. First, find ways to use technology as a way to stimulate business. Second, look into new signage with a theme for the whole town. And third, bring groups and individuals with similar ideas together to initiate tasks and projects to benefit the community.

Heidi Ham, Eastern Rio Blanco County Metropolitan Park and Recreation District director, said simply put, the group's mission is to enhance the quality of life in the community through its goals.

"Being part of the MBA group is a way to get ideas on the table," Ham said.

She said the unwritten motto of the group is to keep egos in check and do what is good for Meeker.

To date, the group has helped plan a Web site for the town of Meeker. The site will provide links to a variety of information about Meeker, from hunting to other recreational opportunities. The Web site is key, group members said, because much of Meeker's true identity was not easily accessible to the outside world.

The town recently awarded the bid for the Web design to Boots Campbell. MBA helped with the research and presented the town board with information needed to make the decision to move forward. The site -- townofmeeker.org -- will be up and running within the next few weeks.

At the Tuesday meeting, Niki Turner and Laura Cardile presented the group with information about entrance signs to the town and a sign design. A subcommittee was formed to incorporate the information into a theme design.

Other ideas discussed were hanging flower baskets or planters, building a walking/bike path from City Park up Rio Blanco County Road 8 to Ripple Pass, relocating the town picnic to the courthouse and launching a children's carnival during Range Call.

The idea of a run to entice distance runners to come to Meeker also was suggested, and a committee was appointed.

A contest was suggested with prizes for the merchant with the best flower box.

Rio Blanco County Commissioner Forrest Nelson said the county gets $30,000 per year in Title 3 funds that could be used for a walking/bike path.

"As broke as we are, this money can only be used for certain things and only on BLM or National Forest land. It might just fit into the walking path," Nelson said. "If we don't find a way to use it ---- we had to give it back."

Wiess said he was pleased with what had been accomplished and invited anyone to attend.

"This is an informal group with a purpose to share ideas and put ideas into action. We want all your ideas," he said.

MBA meetings are the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 a.m. at Meeker Town Hall.

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