County Beat: April 4, 2019

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RBC | As winter weather wraps up, plans to complete the county broadband project are in high gear. During a work session with county commissioners Monday, April 1, Rio Blanco County Communications Director Cody Crooks outlined progress made and items yet to be completed.

Orders have been placed for the majority of the equipment needed for installation of the towers that will bring broadband access to large swaths of unincorporated Rio Blanco County.

Two of the tower sites—in west Rangely and in the upper Piceance Basin—have been marked by the BLM as requiring an archaeological study.

The biggest hurdle yet to be crossed are the 11 easement agreements with private landowners. After some negotiations, the county sent letters to the landowners last week and will start making calls this week.

“As soon as we tie easements down we can proceed,” Crooks said.

Roof repairs for the Hayes Building at the Rangely Airport were also up for discussion. Maintenance Department Project Manager Eric Jaquez told the commissioners that during a site walk in February, a leak was discovered. Because the county owns the building, but it’s used by Colorado Northwestern Community College for the aviation program, there’s been some confusion as to which entity is responsible for what maintenance.

The county called in a contractor for an estimate. According to Jaquez the contractor was “uneasy” about patching the leak and recommended replacement instead. A full overlay was estimated at $31,250. The roof is an older flat TPO roof.

“That roof is getting close to the end of its life,” Jaquez said.

Jaquez and Commissioner Gary  Moyer discussed the possibility of adding a slope to the building.

“Every [type of] roof gives me problems and every [type of] roof has its benefits,” Jaquez said.

“Let’s figure out how to fix this problem today,” said Commissioner Jeff Rector by phone. “That building has been there almost 50 years and now they’re doing the roof. If we can make it last another 50 years, let’s do that.”

The board determined a tour of the site would be appropriate, followed by a work session with the college to discuss maintenance responsibilities.

The commissioners will have another work session Monday, April 8 followed by a regular meeting at 11 a.m. in Meeker.

By Niki Turner |