Network meeting helpful, informative for Rangely organizations

Kate Nowak, executive director and geo-community energy coordinator for Yampa Valley Partners, spoke to the Rangely Community Networking Group about the regional energy education plan. Yampa Valley Partners is a regional non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening communities through data and collaboration.
Using data and demographics, the plan will provide information about a community’s economics, education and energy consumption. The plan consists of four goals: reduce energy consumption by segment per capita; increase the use of multi-modal transportation systems and alternative fuels; educate the public and promote recycling, waste reduction and composting; and educate homeowners and businesses on all energy sources. She urged people to look into the Geo programs and rebates at www.RechargeColorado.com for more information. The energy education plan is funded by a grant from the governor’s energy office.
The networking group also heard from Rangely Hospital District CEO Nick Goshe, who said he hopes construction on the new hospital will be started by August or September. It is “shovel ready,” he added, awaiting the HUD 242 and BLM for funding and details.
Peter Brixius, Rangely town manager, said he “was pleased to report” the town has been awarded another trails grant, in the amount of $50,000, to be used for planning the trails system around Rangely. A stakeholder meeting with the contracted architectural and landscaping firm for the trails system will be held in May.
Ken Parsons reported for both the Rangely Junior College District and the Rio Blanco County commissioners. He said the RJCD is working primarily on their budget and things are moving along.
The county received a grant from CDOT for bridge repair that will be used to stabilize the north abutment of the green bridge near Rangely. The East Douglas bridge on CR27 will also have work done to help remedy the undercutting banks.
Parsons applauded the news of the Rio Blanco Social Services department’s award for performing above state guidelines in all areas in spite of  increased demands and budget cuts. They were recognized by the State of Colorado for their efforts.
Kai Turner added to the commissioner report stating they have completed the interview process for the county administrator position and will be announcing the results soon.
Turner also said the commissioners “have been attending White River basin round table discussions,” and will be meeting with the Forest Service about the new “Roadless Rule.”
The annual Moon Lake Electric board meeting will be June 9, and the Rangely Moon Lake Electric dinner at the park will be June 15.
Rangely Chamber of Commerce president Henry Hames said the chamber’s website is done and all chamber members can post on it free of charge. There is also an area for paid advertising. For more information call Dave Morton at the First Baptist Church. The chamber is also considering creating a dining and lodging brochure for Rangely or a combination of Meeker and Rangely.
Lisa Hatch, president of the Community Gardens Committee, said 14 family garden plots are reserved and the water system is going in this week. The fence is scheduled to be built this Saturday at 10 a.m. Volunteers are needed for the project. Brixius and Turner complimented Hatch’s tenacity with the project and applauded her work with the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.
Becki Niemi, CNCC Foundation director, reported that the April 15 dinner/dance went very well, with 175 people in attendance. The event raised approximately $7,000 for scholarships. The Aero Club also raised $2,600 in an auction, with the proceeds going toward their national trip. They are hosting  their annual “fly in” this weekend at the airport. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children, and airplane rides are $20.
The Foundation received a grant for $219,000 for a career coach at the Craig campus, as well as a $178,000 energy grant for displaced workers going into an energy field. They recently  received a Fairfield grant of $15,000 for the Meeker program. The money will go to senior-oriented classes, as well as reduced tuition for seniors. In addition to these changes, the Meeker program will have a new computer their office to inform students of upcoming events or changes.