RDA gives façade grant to new business

RANGELY | The Rangely Development Agency and Rangely Development Corporation met last Thursday where they discussed grants and approved 2018 draft budgets.
EZ Auto Mechanics LLC, owned by Mike Zadra and Rebecca Elder, received a $7,500 grant from the RDA to update 807 East Main St., commonly referred to as the old NAPA building.
The RDA is seeking legal advice regarding bylaw changes impacting the makeup of the board. The new rules require area special districts to elect one representative to the RDA rather than each district having their own individual representative.
The board discussed potential options for Rangely’s workforce housing, which is currently a private/public partnership. Several years ago the RDA loaned a developer $120,000 for the development of six units of low/mid income housing. The loan will be due in May 2018. If the loan is unable to be paid at that time the town will take ownership of the units. Brixius suggested that the town may also consider an increased management fee on the units and extending the loan. RDA chairman Brad Casto expressed a desire to not continue the management of the units and allow the developer to take on the full project himself. “We helped him at the beginning and got things rolling, but I think it’s up to him,” he said. In the first five months of 2017 the RDA received $23,000 in rental income.
Lisa Piering was selected to replace Lenora Smuts as the RDA and RDC treasurer. Piering currently serves as the secretary as well.
The boards approved 2018 draft budgets for both the RDA and RDC. The RDA budget includes transfer of $30,000 from the town’s general fund to the RDA. Brixius said the transfer was to help backfill some of the money that has been given out in grants in the last year. “We have no way of capturing new revenue in the RDA right now,” he said. There is $40,000 budgeted for façade and small business grants in 2018.
The RDC budget includes a transfer of $20,000 from the town general fund to help replace the $17,500 given to the Rangely Outdoor Museum earlier this year. Brixius described the transfer as a “shore up on the reserves.”
The RDC considered a grant request from The TANK for $6,000. The TANK is seeking to hire a full time executive director, which is what the funds would go towards. Member Tim Webber requested to see The TANK’s operating budget, questioning whether this would be a reoccurring or one-time request. He also said he’d prefer that if the TANK was unable to hire a director the RDC grant money return to the RDC. The grant was tabled for the next meeting. “I think it’s money well spent,” said Casto.
Colorado Northwestern Community College President Ron Granger updated the board on a meeting he’d participated in earlier in the week with a company that is exploring developing an aviation plant somewhere on the Western Slope. He said the partnership would also help CNCC develop their aviation program. “They were impressed with Rangely,” Granger said. Tim Webber also discussed potential aviation industry growth options he is exploring.