Citizens voice support for Rangely Police Dept.

RANGELY | The Rangely Town Council heard more feedback about the Rangely Police Department Tuesday and discussed reducing regulations on establishments selling liquor.

Councilwoman Lisa Hatch took time during the public input portion of the meeting to address her thoughts regarding the Jan. 23 public forum about concerns with the police department. Hatch, who was unable to attend the meeting, was displeased with the forum, which she described as “one-sided.” She stated that she values public input but is concerned that the meeting may have put the police department in a position to worry about safety.

“We have a bigger drug problem than we do a police department problem,” she said, “They are heroes.”

Following Hatch’s comments several people voiced support for the police department.

Resident Jeanie Smith said, “I’m more proud of our police officers than I was of the council when I saw what went on YouTube. At this point I’d rather get rid of the council than the officers.”

Bud Striegel also addressed the council, saying that he supports officers stopping vehicles that look suspicious.

An emotional Shana Kinney, wife of Lieutenant Roy Kinney, specifically called out council members Andy Key, Andy Shaffer and Trey Robie for what she described as attacking the officers. “Get your facts and listen to both sides of the story,” she said. Kinney also described a lack of transparency when the council went into an executive session to discuss the issue and requested that the council apologize.

The town is considering adopting a new resolution which would remove location restrictions on businesses that sell alcohol. The current ordinance prohibits the town from issuing a liquor license to any business within 500 feet of a school or campus. The new resolution states that, “failing to adopt this ordinance will likely mean that the inhabitants of the town may be unnecessarily inconvenienced from having sufficient retail liquor outlets within a reasonable walking distance.” The new rule will be voted on at the March 13 meeting.

The council approved beginning their 2017 financial audit, contracted to ColoCPA Services for $12,200. They also awarded a $23,062 bid to Muller Building Services for improvement to the White River Village laundry facilities.

The council authorized the mayor to act as sole signer in the programmatic agreement with the BLM and other local agencies for the Wagon Wheel OHV Trail System. The agreement includes information regarding the historical and cultural inventories legally required in the vicinity of the trails. The Class III inventory is expected to take five years to complete at a total cost of $148,000. The town will be able to promote and place signage for the system prior to survey completion.

Town Planner Jocelyn Muller discussed the water treatment plant ponds. The recently applied coating on the pond walls was discovered to be failing last fall. Muller said the town has accumulated $29,000 in unanticipated inspection fees due to the failure. The town plans on billing the company for those fees and Muller mentioned the potential for legal action.