Rangely council discusses fiber internet troubles

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RANGELY | The Rangely Town Council met Tuesday night where they discussed local fiber internet and voted to transfer money to the Rangely Development Corporation to replace the funding giving to the Rangely Outdoor Museum.
The CNCC rodeo team was in attendance at a meeting for the Fund for Public Giving which preceded the town council meeting. The team was seeking $1,000 for the Rock ‘N’ Bull event, which takes place during Rangely’s Septemberfest activities. The council unanimously approved the funding.
The council was approached by Paul Recanzone of Colorado Fiber Community during the public input portion of the meeting. Recanzone addressed the recent problems the local fiber internet has experienced. According the Recanzone Colorado Fiber has received complaints from customers who have subscribed to 1 GB speed internet but have been unable to consistently obtain this speed. Recanzone said this could be for a variety of reasons including problems with customer routers, which he says are not always compatible with 1 GB.
Recanzone also addressed concerns about areas of town that still have not received fiber access. Recanzone praised Rangely True Value for the work they’ve done installing the lines, but said it could be as late as next spring before everyone has access. Currently about 65 percent of Meeker and Rangely have access to the fiber line. The county is still discussing the logistics of putting up additional wireless towers, which would shoot the internet signal wirelessly into the remote areas of Rio Blanco.
Recanzone discussed various outages that customers in the Rangely area have recently experienced. Earlier this month the connection between Meeker and Rangely went down, eliminating Rangely’s access for 30 hours. He described the outages as “unacceptable.” Recanzone said that an aerial microwave length has been completed between Meeker and Rangely, providing a back-up to Rangely should the main fiber line go down again. Recanzone also mentioned that the fiber line has received one third more customers than initially anticipated.
A recent survey of fiber customers was conducted in both Meeker and Rangely. According to Recanzone, Rangely had far greater participation in the survey, which he expressed gratitude for.
The council quickly approved a special permit for the Rock ‘N’ Bull event. They also approved funding the Rangely Development Corporation (RDC) with an additional $17,500 to offset the funding provided to the Rangely Museum at the RDC meeting earlier this month.
County Commissioner Jeff Rector spoke to the council in support of the museum project. “It’s not just about going out and digging up bones,” he said. Councilwoman Lisa Hatch offered her time to represent the town council and work with the museum.
Jocelyn Mullen, town planner, discussed asbestos concerns county wide. The town is considering an intergovernmental agreement between Rangely, Meeker and Rio Blanco County for the development of an asbestos abatement team. Mullen estimates a cost of $26,000 including licensing and training. Rangely’s portion of the cost would be $15,800, with Mullen heading the effort. One of the major costs associated with abatement is the expense of hauling the asbestos materials to the Hayden landfill, which is currently the closest landfill approved to accept asbestos. According to Mullen, the county commissioners are currently discussing the possibility of developing an in-county disposal facility.
Mullen said the cost of asbestos removal for a single family home would average $48,000. However, with local disposal and the ability to manage the project locally she believes the cost could be cut in half.
During his update town manager Peter Brixius discussed a potential 5.5 percent increase for employee health insurance costs in 2018. Brixius also talked about the great year that The TANK has had. In the last few months The TANK has made national news and Brixius said it’s had “some impact” on the town.