Networking group meets

RANGELY I The Rangely Community Networking Group met Tuesday to share updates from different groups and to discuss the plan for future meetings. Everyone is extremely busy during the summer and the decision was made to not have meetings in June and July, then reconvene in August.
Becky Dubbert of CNCC reported that the Craig Campus will have its grand opening sometime in August. The campus will consist of three new buildings, an administration building, a career technology center and an auto tech center, which was built with the money saved from construction costs. This has consolidated all services CNCC offers in the Craig area.
A representative from Encana reported that “things are going well,” with nine rigs currently in the area. They are hoping for increased natural gas prices to increase activity.
Russell George and Ken Parsons both brought up their idea of combining programs and resources to create a community college program to convert diesel and gas vehicles to dual fuel, with natural gas being an option. This idea has been suggested specifically for large fleets, as natural gas and LNG is cleaner, and currently cheaper, at $2.59 in Grand Junction. The conversion process is expensive and only done in a few areas, so providing this option through CNCC  offers a great option.
Renee Neilson, who was working in the area, said property values have gone up in Rangely despite predictions. The assessor’s office is currently busy with net back evaluations and basic responsibilities.
Peter Brixius, Rangely town manager, reported on the water treatment plan, options for the renovation or construction of a plant and the timeline for the project is being looking at. He also said the town is considering options for creating workforce housing and was pleased with the renovation of the town hall and dispatch remodel, as it has been done primarily by internal contractors.
“Bud Streigel showed up with about $7,000 worth of trees for the park and they were planted. An irrigation system is being figured out to protect the trees,” Brixius said.
The Rangely School District was pleased to report that they have cut their deficit from $515,000 to $180,000, which they can cover with reserves and external support. Given the circumstances of the state, they feel very good about their situation and they are one of very few districts actually giving their teachers a raise this year. They are currently looking for a superintendent and principal. Russell George stated he was ready to increase the relationship between the school district and CNCC to a maximum potential.
“Concurrent classes are a great advantage for kids,” George stated.
Town trustee Lisa Hatch, who is also a member of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado and the director of the new community garden in Rangely, was pleased with both groups’ progress. A new bill to create local districts to maximize income of federal money has been the topic of discussion with most counties coming up with individual districts. The community garden has 16 of 18 family plots spoken for and people are working hard to get things growing.
Ken Parsons reported on the upcoming September project which is upgrading and constructing 800 mH digital radio towers. The project is a $3.6 million project over three years necessary to cover the county’s communication needs for fire departments, police, hospital, road and bridge and sheriff’s office communication.
He said the new equine health scare has both fairgrounds closed and the June 11, Meeker Little Britches Rodeo has been canceled.
All members present were very excited about the CNCC aviation team that won the national competition.