Rangely pursuing plans to acquire a grocery store

RANGELY | At the December meeting of the Rangely Development Authority, the discussion regarding bringing a grocery store back to Rangely continued. Town Manager Peter Brixius said they are pursuing two tracks toward accomplishing that goal.
The first track is for a member-owned cooperative. Brixius said the town is working with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Co-Op Development Center. The center suggested the town release a community survey prior to holding a community-wide meeting. That survey will be accessible on the town’s website at www.colorado.gov/townofrangely as well as mailed to residents.
The other track, according to Brixius, is to pursue a privately-owned option. He said the current operator of White River Market, Derin Hill, has “shown some real interest in wanting to sell the store,” although Brixius indicated his initial number is “not realistic.”
In other business, the RDA board continued discussion of changes to their small grant program criteria. Beth Willey, whose application for a grant was recently turned down, formally withdrew her application, saying the process has been “arduous, demoralizing and sad.” She was seeking $10,000 to repair rotted floor joists in her 1940s-era building.
“We’re all in the same boat here,” said board chair Tim Webber. “We’re all panicking. We need oil and gas to come back.”
The board also heard from Rio Blanco County Economic Development Coordinator Katelin Cook, who applauded the group’s work on their grant program.
“This is another tool in your toolbox to benefit your businesses,” she said.
She brought an update to the board regarding expansion of CNCC’s aviation program as part of the Better City proposed plan for economic development.
After meeting with new CNCC president Ron Granger, Cook said Granger wants to “be a team player at the same table, and wants to get involved.”
The first steps toward pursuing expansion of the aviation program would be to designate the airport as an aviation development zone.
“That puts Rangely’s airport on the map to encourage aerospace-related industries to locate here,” Cook said.