Letter to the Editor: Rangely needs to offer incentives for local businesses

Dear Editor:
As I read the article “Casto explains his resignation” dated 4-9-2015, some thoughts came to mind.
While I respect all identities involved in the article, please let me share with you my perspective from over the years. First, in the past, I agreed with the Mayor Frank Huitt’s statement regarding not helping business except to be less intrusive.

However, after being in this community for many years I have come to the following conclusions in order to see our great community grow to help support not only the community itself, but the taxing districts, as well.
All of the following takes into consideration the fact of the energy downturn as well as the need to truly finally diversify the economy of this area:
1. It is my belief that you should, because of being a small town and competition from communities such as Vernal, Utah, and Grand Junction offer tax incentives to businesses to come into the community and/or county.
2. Presently, our community, like it or not, must compete for business/industry against great odds. Those odds are the communities mentioned above offering what Mayor Huitt is primarily against totally. Let me ask you, the taxpayer, what about offering “tax incentives” that wind up paying off in the future, when you actually get a company to locate within your community, bringing their people to locate as well?
3. I have watched for many a year businesses that should have been in our area located elsewhere. However, then their workers come to Rangely across the state line or over Douglas Pass each and every day, be they energy related or otherwise. Is it not time for Rangely and Rio Blanco County to see the handwriting on the wall? We need more people to sustain our present infrastructure, taxing identities, especially when energy is in a downturn, as we are presently experiencing.
4. We are, in general, not on the main destination route (main highway). Does this mean you need to take more into consideration than just saying “private business/industry cannot have any help from government?” How do you suppose all of the industry, etc. goes to Denver or Grand Junction and Vernal? You got it. There is always some kind of tax incentive offered for those businesses to locate. It may not necessarily be called a tax incentive or whatever, however, plain and simple, they are offered help from these entities.
5. We, the community of Rangely, can continue to sit by and not offer any tax incentives or whatever, and we will not grow. We will, likewise, not get new competent builders in the community. Existing retail businesses will suffer as a result of a loss of population as time goes on, thus causing the potential of losing more and more retail, which, in my opinion, we cannot afford to lose.
6. Prices from local businesses are higher because of a small population base that does not increase over the years, but decreases.
7. New hospital which needs additional population as well as existing population to support same.
8. Potential for a new 90, 000 acre-foot reservoir. This takes many years to get the permitting. This is going to truly require community and county support to cause this to happen. The squeaky wheel has worked in the past and will work in the future. However, we need our political people to participate at the state and federal levels when necessary to help cause this to happen. This is truly a diversity that needs to happen for the whole county for the future.
9. We need to support the college. We need each and every person within our servicing districts promoting our college, helping to market the college and bring in students to our area. With that, we must invite businesses that not only cater to the general public but cater to our college community. This is critical. Let us not forget the word community in the name of Colorado Northwestern Community College. (Yes, I serve on three boards for Colorado Northwestern Community College CNCC).)
10. Perhaps the old ways are not in the present time the ways that work for our community. At least history has taught us that. We must have people serving on boards who understand and recognize when change needs to occur. However, those changes need to be well thought out. Please do not take years to think it out. Put together a process that gets people involved who are truly business people who can relay all the ins and outs in today’s present retail business community and industry, etc.
11. We must also pursue activities for those people coming. Years ago, when we had no indoor swimming pool, no golf course etc., we put together a package that caused all of this to happen. Thus, it caused the evolution of the La Mesa Subdivision and the recreation center, which included the golf course later on.
12. If we want to help our community, we need to get involved at whatever level. Be it serving on a board or just plain attending some board meetings and expressing your views on different subjects. Please know that most boards are lucky to get any kind of attendance from the general public.
13. When companies are looking to relocate, they check towns out in this order: 1. Health care 2. Schools and the families want to know about overall recreation and the extent of the business community. Does this alone tell you what we need to do to cause some good things to happen in this community?
14. Rangely and Rio Blanco County can do this. However, it takes a team pulling collectively together. It also takes a leader to initiate the program/plan. Let us please get with the program/plan so we can not only survive, but thrive. Let’s gain back the retail sector, improve our schools, improve, if necessary the health care and truly move forward. We can and we must!
Watching this for more than 50 years tells me that something has to change. Our attitudes and our administrations need to come into today’s world of technology and begin to WREA thanks electric linemen, apologizes for oversight
Dear Editor:
White River Electric Association would like to acknowledge an oversight in its recognition of Lineman Appreciation Day in the April 9, 2015, Rio Blanco Herald Times. White River Electric inadvertently left Dusty Allen’s name out of the listing of White River Electric Linemen.
WREA apologizes to Dusty and appreciates the opportunity to celebrate each and every member of the White River Electric line crew.
We would also like to say “thank you” to the member-consumers who were gracious enough to point out this omission. White River Electric Association membership and our entire community are grateful for the dedication and service of our linemen, both past and present.
White River Electric Association
Meeker

Letter from a pilot on Germanwings tragedy
Dear Editor:
“It’s OK that I am away from my family to take you to yours. It’s my job, my pleasure, my passion, my life as a pilot.
I don’t expect you to know that it took me many years and thousands of training hours to be here for you. I have trained in all weather conditions, in many types of aircraft, and in complicated airspace. From a two-passenger, single-engine airplane to the heavy metal we ride today, I have learned through exposure. The world and Mother Nature can be intense, but I know how to take this aircraft through, or around, everything that life has to offer.
I am here for you. I have deepened my knowledge higher and wider than aviation by earning my college degree while also learning how to fly. I have become a pilot and everything about me will keep you safe; it is a pilot’s creed.
Aviation is my life and its requirements are unlike any other career out there. We don’t leave the job at the cockpit door. On our days off, we train, study, get tested, stay fit to pass flight physicals and deal with base changes, commuting and junior assignments.
We look our partners and children in the eye and tell them we love them, and apologize for missing another holiday. We will celebrate when we get back, because we know we will get back. We have become a pilot and everything that entails. Our families have learned to live with a pilot and we thank them for it.
Our commute to work is often as a passenger, so we understand your frustrations and fears. But, when a flight is delayed, we are grateful for the reason. It’s because someone is keeping you safe. Safe from the unruly weather, a mechanical malfunction, or an anomaly that needs attention.
Pilots don’t take you to the sky unless we know we’re all safe, and sometimes that takes a little extra time. We know time is precious, we also know life is too.
When we hear that a pilot has violated our creed, we go through and beyond sadness to anger. It’s painful to have a person crumble everything we are and act with malice from a coveted pilot position. It misrepresents everything we are and do for you. We ask that you trust us, because we’ve earned your trust. We guard you with our own dedicated lives.
So please remember, we are pilots, but the person who did this (deadly act in Europe) was not a pilot. With 630 hours, he had not been exposed to enough experience. He slipped through the cracks of a foreign carrier, which means there are seams in the transition.
In the U.S., you will not find anyone with less than 1500 hours in the right seat of a commercial airliner—and the majority have thousands more than that. They will have been exposed to experience and filtered more thoroughly.
It doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but it reduces the already miniscule odds. The stats don’t retract the tragedy, but as you read these words, there are 5,000 U.S. flights in the air. There are 3 million passengers in the world today that will get to their destinations safely. Every one of those passengers had the benefit and trust of another person’s experience as a pilot.
Tragedy is hard to put into perspective because it has such focus. Don’t blur the rest of the reality. Pilots prove themselves continuously and more testing will prove nothing except that we can take tests.
We live, breathe, think, discuss and see the world as a pilot. We have the right to have your trust, but we don’t demand, we ask. We ask by proving to you every day that we live our life to be in this pilot’s seat. The pilots sitting in the front of your airplane will get you there safely. It is their creed, and they live every aspect of their lives for it.”
This article can be found at disciplesofflight.com/letter-from-your-pilot-germanwings-tragedy/
David Cole
Cole Aviation Consulting
Meeker

Rangely needs to offer incentives for local businesses
Dear Editor:
As I read the article “Casto explains his resignation” dated 4-9-2015, some thoughts came to mind.
While I respect all identities involved in the article, please let me share with you my perspective from over the years. First, in the past, I agreed with the Mayor Frank Huitt’s statement regarding not helping business except to be less intrusive.
However, after being in this community for many years I have come to the following conclusions in order to see our great community grow to help support not only the community itself, but the taxing districts, as well.
All of the following takes into consideration the fact of the energy downturn as well as the need to truly finally diversify the economy of this area:
1. It is my belief that you should, because of being a small town and competition from communities such as Vernal, Utah, and Grand Junction offer tax incentives to businesses to come into the community and/or county.
2. Presently, our community, like it or not, must compete for business/industry against great odds. Those odds are the communities mentioned above offering what Mayor Huitt is primarily against totally. Let me ask you, the taxpayer, what about offering “tax incentives” that wind up paying off in the future, when you actually get a company to locate within your community, bringing their people to locate as well?
3. I have watched for many a year businesses that should have been in our area located elsewhere. However, then their workers come to Rangely across the state line or over Douglas Pass each and every day, be they energy related or otherwise. Is it not time for Rangely and Rio Blanco County to see the handwriting on the wall? We need more people to sustain our present infrastructure, taxing identities, especially when energy is in a downturn, as we are presently experiencing.
4. We are, in general, not on the main destination route (main highway). Does this mean you need to take more into consideration than just saying “private business/industry cannot have any help from government?” How do you suppose all of the industry, etc. goes to Denver or Grand Junction and Vernal? You got it. There is always some kind of tax incentive offered for those businesses to locate. It may not necessarily be called a tax incentive or whatever, however, plain and simple, they are offered help from these entities.
5. We, the community of Rangely, can continue to sit by and not offer any tax incentives or whatever, and we will not grow. We will, likewise, not get new competent builders in the community. Existing retail businesses will suffer as a result of a loss of population as time goes on, thus causing the potential of losing more and more retail, which, in my opinion, we cannot afford to lose.
6. Prices from local businesses are higher because of a small population base that does not increase over the years, but decreases.
7. New hospital which needs additional population as well as existing population to support same.
8. Potential for a new 90, 000 acre-foot reservoir. This takes many years to get the permitting. This is going to truly require community and county support to cause this to happen. The squeaky wheel has worked in the past and will work in the future. However, we need our political people to participate at the state and federal levels when necessary to help cause this to happen. This is truly a diversity that needs to happen for the whole county for the future.
9. We need to support the college. We need each and every person within our servicing districts promoting our college, helping to market the college and bring in students to our area. With that, we must invite businesses that not only cater to the general public but cater to our college community. This is critical. Let us not forget the word community in the name of Colorado Northwestern Community College. (Yes, I serve on three boards for Colorado Northwestern Community College CNCC).)
10. Perhaps the old ways are not in the present time the ways that work for our community. At least history has taught us that. We must have people serving on boards who understand and recognize when change needs to occur. However, those changes need to be well thought out. Please do not take years to think it out. Put together a process that gets people involved who are truly business people who can relay all the ins and outs in today’s present retail business community and industry, etc.
11. We must also pursue activities for those people coming. Years ago, when we had no indoor swimming pool, no golf course etc., we put together a package that caused all of this to happen. Thus, it caused the evolution of the La Mesa Subdivision and the recreation center, which included the golf course later on.
12. If we want to help our community, we need to get involved at whatever level. Be it serving on a board or just plain attending some board meetings and expressing your views on different subjects. Please know that most boards are lucky to get any kind of attendance from the general public.
13. When companies are looking to relocate, they check towns out in this order: 1. Health care 2. Schools and the families want to know about overall recreation and the extent of the business community. Does this alone tell you what we need to do to cause some good things to happen in this community?
14. Rangely and Rio Blanco County can do this. However, it takes a team pulling collectively together. It also takes a leader to initiate the program/plan. Let us please get with the program/plan so we can not only survive, but thrive. Let’s gain back the retail sector, improve our schools, improve, if necessary the health care and truly move forward. We can and we must!
Watching this for more than 50 years tells me that something has to change. Our attitudes and our administrations need to come into today’s world of technology and begin to move forward.
With that, I thank all of our volunteers and the board members who have so graciously given up their time and talents to serve. Please understand this is going to take all of us with input from a broad base of support to put a plan together that is truly workable for this community/county.
I thank you for your patience in reading this lengthy letter. I can only hope it makes enough of an impression to cause some good things to happen for our community.
Peggy Rector
Former town, county elected
official, still active on CNCC, county water board
Rangely

1 Comment

  1. I have to agree with the support for Mr. Casto. Here’s why:
    Rangely has been a boom/bust town for as long as I can remember. When I first moved to Rangely as a little boy with my family in the early 1980’s, I remember a drilling company equipment yard right in the middle of town, where the new (late 1990’s) shopping center is now. Rangely now has a Family Dollar, a VERY nice hotel on the west end of town, and True Value has taken up the majority of storefronts which used to contain Mr. S Clothiers and Korner Drug.
    I also remember attending Parkview Elementary School on Stanolind. I’m told Parkview has been moved to the Middle School, and Middle School students are now with High Schoolers. CNCC has greatly diversified it’s educational offerings to become more attractive to more students.
    What all of this tells me is that while there has been some economic progress, the population is struggling to hold at current levels. People with children aren’t staying in Rangely, or are choosing not to have children in Rangely. Career-minded younger adults are fleeing for ‘greener pastures’, or their jobs are being relocated out of Rangely because other communities are more attractive economically.
    I see the obvious irony of me, a ‘younger’ career-minded adult with children writing from out of town to complain about business decisions Rangely is making. But I am not writing to complain- instead, I am writing to offer some insight on what could work.
    Consider Cheyenne, Wyoming. This is where I live now. In the late ’90’s, some forward-thinking leaders from the business and government sectors met to plan out this city’s future. Business parks were built on the west and east sides of town, in addition to a large industrial park south of town and many, many companies acquiring property and building near the college.
    Now what we have is a series of successes ranging from a Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Lowes Distribution Center, the NCAR Supercomputing Center, two Microsoft Data Centers, Magpul and many other support companies for the Niobrara oil field.
    A relatively small investment of infrastructure and tax incentives has paid off big time for Cheyenne. I believe this same mindset can be taken anywhere and implemented to cause growth. I don’t want my beloved Rangely to get too big, but I think we can all agree some economic stability wouldn’t hurt.
    The business mindset of only the strong survive is not completely inaccurate, but too many communities get passed over if there is no incentive to open shop.

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