County Beat: NEPA changes bode well for RBC

RBC | Commissioners Jeff Rector and Gary Moyer heard a report from LaDonna Eubanks, building department, in a work session prior to the regular commissioners’ meeting in Rangely Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Eubanks said the state plumbing board is going the same direction the electrical board has gone, requiring a license for plumbing inspection. The commissioners agreed that the county’s best approach is to let the state inspector do those inspections.

County Attorney Todd Starr nixed adding a bid award for Columbine Park panels to the agenda, as the change was not publicly noticed 24 hours in advance. The bid award will be pushed to the next meeting, which will be held in February. The Jan. 28 meeting has been canceled.

The commissioners approved a permission letter for the Meeker Summer Rodeo Series to use the RBC Fairgrounds on Thursdays beginning June 4 through Aug. 20, excluding July 2.

Approved CCITF agreements for the purchase of a $41,000 school bus for the Meeker School District, for the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District to purchase and install a gazebo at the Rangely Camper Park for $42,500 and for the Rangely Rural Fire Protection District to purchase a brush truck for $85,397.

Approved an annual block grant business loan funds application with the Colorado Office of Economic Development.

Contracted professional services with the Town of Rangely for sharing a building inspector. “We’re simply helping out with manpower,” Starr said. Any appeals or complaints will go to the Town of Rangely.

Former commissioner Jon Hill shared his insight on the proposed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations at Moyer’s request. Hill said the proposed changes “look pretty good,” and added that this is the first time the regulations have been revised since 1978 despite multiple requests from multiple presidential administrations.

Moyer and Rector said they appreciated Hill reviewing the documentation.

“This is going to be a huge win for us,” Rector said. “I think in the next year we’ll see some huge strides in the west.”

“Streamlining this NEPA process is huge,” Moyer agreed.

In commissioner updates, Moyer said he attended the annual water expo and annual meeting of the water conservation districts last week.

“I’m hearing a lot of concern from the Craig paper’s article about the state opposing the Wolf Creek reservoir,” he said. He’s asked Rep. Scott Tipton and Sen. Cory Gardner to weigh in.

Commissioner Rector added, “We need to be very bold in how we’re positioning ourselves with the Wolf Creek project and in support of the Water Conservancy District. They’ve been talking about this since before they built Kenney Reservoir.”

Rector also said he’s pleased with the new direction the Rangely Development Authority and Rangely Development Corporation are taking and expects to see some positive things come out of that.

Editor’s Note: The Craig Press article regarding Wolf Creek Dam  is from nonprofit group Aspen Journalism. Read it at https://www.aspenjournalism.org/2020/01/20/state-looking-to-oppose-white-river-storage-project-in-water-court/)

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