Sheriff dispels takeover rumors, commends police chief

RANGELY I New Town of Rangely trustee Keely Ellis was sworn in during the regular board meeting on Feb. 11. Ellis was welcomed by Rangely Mayor Andy Shaffer and Trustees Alisa Granger, Luke Geer and Andy Key (attending via Skype). Ellis brings a great deal of experience in economic development and a passion to help the community.

Public Input:

Republican candidate for Rio Blanco County Commissioner Scott Nielsen introduced himself. Nielsen was born in Meeker and graduated from Meeker High School. After time in the Army and living out of the area he returned to Meeker and has worked in the oil and mining industry, the county road and bridge department, and currently is employed for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Sheriff Anthony Mazzola addressed the board and said that he wanted to dispel rumors that had been going around about him wanting to take over Rangely dispatch services. He also reaffirmed his commitment in serving the community regarding law enforcement. He commended Rangely Police Chief Ti Hamblin, saying that prior to Hamblin taking over he would get calls from constituents having concerns and since Hamblin has taken the reins at the police department he has not received any calls and thinks the Rangely Police Department is headed in the right direction. Town Manager Lisa Piering ensured Sheriff Mazzola that the rumors had not come from her office.

SUPERVISOR REPORTS:

Don Reed, Rangely Water Department Supervisor, wanted to inform the public that there are possibly some adverse effects from fluoridating the towns water supply. “We are not here to debate the issue,” he said, and strongly advised the public to become educated before voting on this matter. The town is working with Dr. Ken Myers D.D.S. on drafting a list of pros’ and cons about the issue.

Reed reported there is a general feeling across multiple water boards that Rangely is not active enough in the future development of its water rights and resources. He suggested drafting a report about the Town of Rangely’s stance. Piering said the town has sent letters to legislators in support of the Wolf Creek Reservoir project. She also said that the town is working toward more recreational use of the river and to develop more water storage for the town in case of a drought. Currently the town’s raw water storage area would not last beyond 14 days. Mayor Shaffer said that he thought the Town of Rangely has been very supportive of the Wolf Creek Reservoir project. Piering said that perhaps they needed to revisit that and provide something in a stronger language.

Reed said his department is working on the utilities master plan and will present it once completed. Work will be done to the water plant this year. A DOLA survey is being finished for the project for Highway 139 in order to be considered for funding. They will be applying for a DOLA grant for the headworks building and working on cosmetics on some of the plants. He said that the wastewater plant is switching over from UV to chlorine.

TOWN MANAGER UPDATE:

Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District Manager Alden Vanden Brink sent Piering an email about recruiting and sending three employees to the state to help them understand the town’s position on the Wolf Creek Reservoir project. She said they also have a list of several legislators with whom to share their opinion. She offered the information to any individuals who would like to fight at the state level for the project.

RBC Emergency Manager Ty Gates provided projections on snowpack and Piering reported all the basins are above average for snowpack. She said that she was proud of the departments and community that came together after the snowfall on Monday, Feb. 3. Safety training for town employees will take place in the first quarter this year.

New Marketing Coordinator Jeannie Caldwell has been talking to special districts around town, she will be working very closely with the RDA/RDC boards, and will have a meeting with Rio Blanco County Economic Development.

After problems with vaping at the school district, Piering reported that the town may be working with the school district regarding a vaping ordinance pending the outcome of current state legislation.

Last week the state Attorney General announced that CNCC received a grant for a cyber security program. She said that was a huge step for CNCC and that it is great for the community.

Key asked if the town could do a collaborative promotional video for the Wolf Creek Project. Piering agreed that they should look into it.

NEW BUSINESS:

While moving forward with the new business agenda item to approve a liquor license for Kum ’N’ Go, Geer expressed concern about the impact that Kum ’N’ Go’s liquor sales has had on the small businesses in town and stated he would be voting no. He suggested that they have restrictions on how much liquor they can keep in stock. Key said it is not the role of government to decide. Piering told Geer that if they deny their liquor license, they can’t sell any alcohol and suggested that he bring his concerns forward in a different form. He said in the future he’d like to visit how they go about renewing those licenses and how much area they can have for stock, stating, “It doesn’t sit right with me at all.” Granger moved to approve the liquor license renewal for Kum ’N’ Go, Key seconded, and it passed with Geer opposing the motion.

Geer moved to approve the liquor license renewal for Willis Rangely Enterprises LLC dba Rangely Liquor Store. Granger seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Prior to a decision to approve an MOU between the town and Rio Blanco County for the Rio Blanco County Emergency Operating Plan, Gates said they started this project about four years ago. The Emergency Operations Plan covers both towns including both hospitals. Currently the towns in the county do not have or have outdated emergency operations plans. He stated that it will bring both ends of the county together. Granger moved to approve the MOU between the Town of Rangely and Rio Blanco County to utilize the RBC Emergency Operating Plan for disaster preparation and coordination and Geer seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The board approved ColoCPA Services, PC to perform the 2019 Town of Rangely audit in the amount of $12,450.

 

By ROXIE FROMANG

Special to the Herald Times

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