The town of Rangely and many of its employees and council have been asked about some of the newer projects coming to town. It seemed like an appropriate time to mention some of this activity as we look to the future.
The new Kum ’n’ Go is certainly the most imminent project and is just waiting for CDOT’s Notice to Proceed. Once they have the NTP we should see activity on the new site just east of the current location in downtown Rangely. CDOT is requiring extensive offsite improvements to streets and drainage prior to granting this NTP and Kum ’n’ Go currently is about to enter the second round of review. Some project approvals have taken CDOT many months to complete, but they have assured the town they are doing everything possible to expedite the process.
Obviously, and without final approval, it is hard to predict the timeline for this new store, but I would hope that we could see an NTP and project construction beginning before winter.
The folks at Kum ’n’ Go are also anxious to move forward as their costs begin to escalate after the weather changes and winter approaches.
We have also had a number of contacts concerning the introduction and arrival of a new retail outlet in the community. I am not at liberty to talk about the specifics of the business, but the level of seriousness about opening this year is good. It remains to be seen how the CDOT permitting process may affect the timeline for the project. I will say that the town of Rangely is working actively with CDOT in an effort to influence the timelines on some of these projects.
The town is also expecting a proposal from an Aspen developer interested in pursuing affordable housing development in Rangely. We would hope to see the preliminary plat and concept for this housing plan during August.
The town’s Economic Development Authority has successfully bid on and closed on a blighted property on School Street across from the football field in mid-July. The cost of the land and three properties was $35,000. Now that the sale is completed, the town is evaluating for asbestos and will obtain a permit from the state before demolition of the homes and clean up of the property for resale.
Thanks to a half million dollar grant from DOLA’s Energy Impact Funding, the town is looking to upgrade the treatment process at the wastewater treatment plant in an effort to conform to new 2013 requirements for discharge into the White River. The funds will also be used to replace up to 2,500 linear feet of water line on Grand Avenue, Bell and Sunset.
Another energy impact grant was recently awarded in the amount of $100,000 for work on streets. With the town match we may be looking at $230,000 of street improvements in 2009. Street upgrades remain a critical component of maintenance in Rangely and this area of maintenance is significantly undercapitalized in order to keep up with the degradation of our streets infrastructure. The town’s original request from the energy impact grant program was short funded and would have made available $500,000 this year if the grant had been fully funded.
During these more difficult economic times the town of Rangely is working to be a prudent and efficient user of tax dollars by initiating and completing much of our maintenance internally. We are also limiting summer hiring and working to limit capital spending for the year. We anticipate a large direct distribution payment for severance and federal mineral lease payments to the community in August of this year, which will help to offset what appears to be a substantial shortfall in these payments in 2010 and 2011. The town has historically relied on these distributions for much of our infrastructure needs, as well as the award of energy impact grants, both of which are going to be very limited in 2010 and 2011.
The council has authorized a seed payment to a program called “Shop and Dine Rangely.” This program is to provide a boost for our retailers, restaurants and motels during the month of September. Please be watching for more details in the Herald Times and at your local stores.
School will be starting very soon and with the closure of Parkview Elementary, the town will be working to enhance pedestrian crossings on River Road. Please be aware of the increased activity in this area as students make their way to the new elementary school location.
The council encourages community activity and asks for increased citizen involvement at our council meetings and various public committee meetings. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Septemberfest celebration Sept. 4-7.
Brixius is the Rangely town manager.