Commissioners dole out $483K

RBC — Nearly half a million dollars worth of community requests were approved for funding Tuesday by Rio Blanco County commissioners.
The money — $483,633, to be exact — will come from the County Capital Improvement Trust Fund. CCITF grant allocations are awarded annually in the fall.
The biggest-ticket item on the list of approved requests was $113,980 for three requests from Rangely District Hospital. Of that total, $70,700 was for a boiler system, $35,295 for upgrades to two EMS cardiac monitors and $7,985 for remodeling of the long-term bathing unit.
“The county commissioners, through CCITF, historically, have given significant support to governmental entities throughout the county,” said Merrill Frank, RDH interim CEO. “RDH and its patients have benefited through the commissioners’ aid to many projects. The RDH board deeply appreciate the commissioners’ continuing support.”
Other funding requests approved by commissioners were:
n Meeker School District — $71,000 for a 65-passenger school bus and a snow removal vehicle.
“The county has been very generous over the years in granting the school district multiple CCITF grants,” said school board President Mary Strang. “Many have been to help with bus and smaller vehicle purchases. Needless to say, these grants have made it possible for us to maintain a reasonable-aged fleet. Without the county’s help, we’d have had a difficult time replacing units in a timely manner.”
Both requests approved by commissioners will be used vehicles, Strang said.
“The 65-passenger bus will be the second used bus we’ve purchased,” she said. “The first experience has been extremely successful and, as you can imagine, the savings, compared to a new unit, were significant.
“The small snow plowing vehicle replaces an old jeep, which is no longer safe to drive,” Strang added. “It will be used for snow removal on the elementary school grounds. Most likely we’ll end up with a small pickup and plow — a very versatile unit.”
n Town of Rangely — $56,800 for White River Village, a seniors/handicapped housing project.
“The grant was requested to deal with an aging roof system that has long ago failed to meet the needs of the structure and is causing increasing expense to maintain the facility,” said Rangely Town Manager Peter Brixius.
The White River Village is comprised of 24 apartments and serves the needs of residents demonstrating financial need and qualifying as elderly and/or handicapped, Brixius said.
“This money will help to defray the increasing expense load at the facility and will go to serve a very important need for the town of Rangely,” Brixius said.
n Town of Meeker — $56,000 for a 2009 street maintenance project.
n Colorado Northwestern Community College — $50,000 for mechanical upgrades to the Rector S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) remodeling project.
n Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker — $50,000 for a digital mammography system and high-resolution reader.
“This will significantly improve the response time for screening results, creating the opportunity for same-day results,” said Margie Joy, development manager for Pioneers Medical Center. “By investing in a digital mammography reader we will enhance accuracy of diagnosis and shorten the timeframe for receiving results.”
n Rangely Public Library — $28,455 for an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) remodeling project, phase II.
n Rangely School District — $27,398 for building server replacement and new wrestling mats.
n Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District — $25,000 for ADA restroom improvements at Elks Park in Rangely.
n Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District — $5,000 for the eighth year of a 10-year sedimentation project.
n In other county business, commissioners approved the signing of a contract with Duckels Construction Inc. of Steamboat Springs, which had the low bid for a bridge replacement project on County Road 32.
Duckels’ original bid was for $182,888; however, Ron Leeper, road and bridge coordinator, said $170,400 had been budgeted for the project.
“Where’s the $12,000 going to come from?” asked Commissioner Joe Collins.
In a change order, Duckels reduced its bid amount by $2,888, Leeper said, bringing the difference to about $10,000. He said the balance would come from a contingency fund.
“That’s why you call it a contingency fund,” Commissioner Forrest Nelson said.
“That’s right,” Leeper said.
n At the recommendation of Dave Morlan, road and bridge director, commissioners delayed signing a task order in the amount of $725,000 with DMJM Harris of Denver, consultant for Phase I of the County Road 5 project.
“I don’t feel ready to have you guys sign it,” Morlan said. “I want to go over it with a few other people.”
The commissioners will have a special meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday to take up the matter again.
n Commissioners appointed Patti Tipton of Rangely to the Lodging Tax Board. Tipton is general manager of the new Blue Mountain Inn and Suites in Rangely.
“I believe that my current interest in tourism in our county, as well as my past work experience, makes me a good candidate for the Lodging Tax Board,” Tipton said in a letter to commissioners.