Rangely Town Council holds first meeting of 2017

By Jen Hill
jen@theheraldtimes.com
RANGELY | The Rangely Town Council held their first meeting of the new year on Tuesday.
Police Chief Vince Wilczek updated the council on happenings in the police department including upcoming trainings, a new Facebook page and a new school program. Starting this year officers will be asked to spend one day a week eating lunch at the elementary school. Wilczek also informed the council that DUI’s were down 20 percent in 2016.
Trustee Andy Key asked why the RPD will not administer Narcan to drug overdose cases, a program which Meeker recently began. Wilczek responded that it was “like giving a drunk a drive home, they’re going to get drunk every night. Actions have recourses,” he said, “if there’s no recourse for your action you’re going to keep doing it. We shouldn’t incur any cost because of drug addicts.”
Town Manager Peter Brixius gave several quick updates to the board. He began with an overview of the grocery survey results which are almost done being gathered and the data aggregated. According to Brixius the town has received 187 responses. So far the data indicates that only about 10 percent of respondents use the current grocery store with regularity. More survey results will be available in the coming weeks.
Brixius also discussed the new town billboards Rangely can expect to see on the edges of town. These ones will be “more touristy,” said Brixius, and will include activities available in Rangely.
Brixius informed the council that gas department usage was down from previous years. This was attributed to warmer weather. Last year the town noted similar drops in revenue from decreases in gas usage.
A notable discussion of the evening was the council’s decision to table a resolution in support of the Ute Indian Tribe’s efforts to obtain BLM land adjacent to Dinosaur for the purpose of developing a casino. Councilmember Key expressed concerns about the Ute Tribe obtaining land in Colorado, where they don’t currently have a presence.
“I don’t support the transfer to tribal land, it will open Pandora’s Box,” said Key. “The tribe is very corrupt and very difficult to work with. Getting involved with them is scary,” he added. The council decided to reach out to an attorney inquiring what rights acquiring the land would give the tribe in Colorado. Mayor Joseph Neilsen added that the resolution in its current form was too supportive, wanting instead to convey that while Rangely has no fundamental objections, the decision is really up to Dinosaur and Moffat County.
Included in the council packet was a letter sent by the town to the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC) asking for their support as Rangely applies for Enterprise Zone Status. In order to be eligible to become an Enterprise Zone the town must show that either the per capita income is less than 75 percent of the state average, that the unemployment rate is 25 percent greater than the state average or that population growth rate is less than 25 percent of the state average. In the past Rangely has been unable to meet this criteria, having a higher household income and lower unemployment rate. If awarded, the status comes with numerous tax incentives for businesses within the zone including tax credits for investment, new employees, job training, health insurance, research and development, vacant building rehab and contribution to public/private partnerships.
The Rangely Town Council will meet again on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. for a work session with Better Cities followed by a regular meeting.

2 Comments

  1. Dear Officer Wilczek,
    Your role as an officer of the law is to protect and serve. This does not give you the right to play God and decide who lives and dies. I think it is a disgrace to law enforcement across the country by the insensitive remarks you made about “drunks” and “addicts.” I believe there are a large number of officers across this country who have family members that deal with alcoholism and addiction and would find your remarks insensitive and appalling. You should be ashamed of your remarks and you do not deserve to hold the title of chief, let alone an officer of the law.
    By your remarks, it shows me that you have not taken the time to do research as to how many alcoholics and addicts actually recover and live a productive life, like myself after becoming sober. Each addict is different in their own addiction, something you are failing to recognize. That just tells me you are lazy and selfish. I used to go to college in this town. During my time in this town, I did my fair share of partying just like any other college student. I was predisposed to alcoholism, as it runs on both sides of my family, something I couldn’t comprehend at the age of 19. For the course of 14 years I struggled to come to grips with my addiction to alcohol and prescription pain pills. I became addicted to pain pills after a back injury trying out for the local college basketball team at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely, Colorado.
    Once I came to grips and realized I had a problem 14 years later, I went back and dug deep inside myself trying to figure out why I used. I had a lot of issues that I suppressed and I dealt with them by using. If I would have overdosed in your town, which I never did, the fact that you would not administer a drug that could reverse the overdose, is inhumane in my opinion.
    Since I have become sober from alcohol and prescription pills, I finished my AA(something I did not do in your town) and went onto a 4 year college. I also have a job with the city that I live in, so now I am on your level and you don’t deserve to be on my level. I am an Assistant Athletic Coordinator in the Parks and Recreation Department, and I also coach youth sports. I use my past experiences to help today’s youth go down the right road and not make the same mistakes I did.
    You sir, need to take a long look at yourself in the mirror about you remarks and rethink them. You do not deserve to hold any type of public office, let alone, chief of police.
    What your remarks tell me, is that you are a selfish human being. Maybe it’s time you get off your butt, and try and find a solution instead of giving up on someone and letting them die. Each person in this world is capable of changing, including alcoholics and addicts, just like myself. I could not imagine sitting and watching someone die of a drug overdose knowing that I have the means to save them.
    How can you?

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