COUNTY BEAT: February 18, 2021

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A note on last week’s meeting:

The HT has submitted Colorado Open Records Act requests for documents pertaining to “hospital administrators expressing grave concern” about the public health department, as stated by County Attorney Todd Starr last week. We also submitted requests for county records regarding COVID outbreaks at both hospitals, as well as a failed December CDPHE inspection at PMC that put the hospital briefly into immediate jeopardy. We expect to receive those documents next week.

RBC | In work sessions Tuesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Area Manager Bill deVergie spoke with the commissioners about a 3,460 ranch on the border of Rio Blanco and Moffat counties that CPW intends to purchase. The Crystal Creek Ranch is a legacy ranch that has been in the same family since 1934. According to deVergie, the family desires to sell the property to the state.

The property itself is located on the South Fork of the Williams Fork River. Two Rio Blanco County roads dead end on the property.

CPW’s intention for the property would be for the benefit of wildlife and protecting public access for both fishing and hunting.

Commissioner Gary Moyer said the board has been contacted by neighboring property owners, some of whom do not live here. “They have large, large concerns and feel they will be negatively impacted by this,” Moyer said. “Public lands limits our opportunity to develop resources.”

The board urged deVergie to “sit down with” the neighboring property owners again, saying they’ve received significant pushback on the proposed acquisition.

Van Pilaud, RBC Road and Bridge engineer, said the second round of bids received for the County Road 73 bridge replacement project are still more than $350K higher than the amount budgeted. He discussed the possibility of making repairs to the bridge instead of replacing it, and closing the bridge to two-way traffic. An inspection by CDOT last fall indicates the bridge is in need of decking repair and has a failing girder.

Spring load restrictions on County Road 5 are expected to begin March 8 and continue through March 31. Restrictions on County Road 7 are expected to begin March 8 and continue through March 23.

All anticipated bids were not received in time for the Piceance Creek Pest Control District project, so the one bid was not opened and a request for bids will be republished.

Regular Meeting

  • Approved advertising for Rangely Road and Bridge temporary laborers.
  • Approved a letter to Shanna Kinney at Rangely District Hospital supporting a grant application to purchase a new ambulance.
  • Awarded a bid for a smooth drum vibratory compactor to low bidder Honnen Equipment Co. for $133,226. The budgeted amount was $125,000.
  • Awarded a bid for two standard cab pickups to replace trucks that were wrecked last year to Victory Motors of Craig. With insurance payments, the costs will be $13,916 and $25,457. No bid was received from Cook Ford because they have not received pricing for 2022 models. The bid from Northwest Auto was received late and not sealed when delivered and therefore disqualified.
  • Awarded a bid for an extreme duty off road pickup for the sheriff’s department to Victory Motors for a cost of $27,622. No bid from Cook Ford, and a late bid from Northwest Auto.
  • Approved a maintenance agreement for emergency power generators to Cummins Sales and Service for $9,956.

Public Comment

Roy Gilbert, Range Call Committee president, said after discussions with the Meeker Summer Rodeo Series, an arrangement has been made to leave the Range Call banners in the arena.

Commissioner Updates

Commissioner Rector said he has put together a program with Uintah County and some of the commissioners from eastern Utah and this side of the state “to fight back against some of the legislation coming down federally and some of the executive orders being signed so our voice is heard here and people know what’s going on.”

Commissioner Gates said he has been “tying up loose ends” on the emergency manager position he previously held. A new emergency manager/natural resources director has been hired by the county. He also attended training with Colorado Counties, Inc. and attended a public health vaccination clinic.

Commissioner Moyer said he has been dealing with “an abundance of personnel meetings, issues, etc.”