COUNTY BEAT: Rangely rural water project moving forward

RURAL DOMESTIC WATER

White River Conservancy District director Alden Vanden Brink updated the board following last week’s River District meeting, noting that low precipitation last month has the area on track for “similar” or “worse” hydrology than last year, barring some big storms to finish winter. More on Page 1.

Vanden Brink also answered questions about the rural domestic water program outside Rangely. “We believe we’re about 75% on the pipeline drawings,” he said, adding that realignment of the proposed structure will cut out about three miles of pipeline and save an estimated $500K. He says the Town of Rangely is on board, and that he planned to meet with the county’s Road and Bridge department next. 

A contractor, funded by a grant, will soon be conducting an anonymous income survey of residents in the proposed rural water program area as one part of efforts to secure federal funding for the overall project, including funds from the new infrastructure bill.

Vanden Brink said the district hopes to have a “shovel ready project” by early May, noting that the income survey and engineering report will be done in about 45 days, “and we’ll have the environmental for our pipeline route wrapped up within the next 60 days.”

POLICY CHANGE

County employees will now be able to use 40 hours of bereavement leave up to one month after the death of a family member following a policy change implemented by commissioners Tuesday. Human Resources Director Laura Smith suggested the change during a work session before commissioner Jeff Rector and Ty Gates voted. Commissioner Moyer did not attend this week’s meeting.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

Public information and Program Manager Carly Thomson informed the board that eight employees are set to receive “website training” following increased use of the county website. She also explained why the county’s primary Facebook page is seeing more activity. The county has started sharing public health-related information on the page following the unexplained censoring and eventual deletion of the county public health page.

REGULAR MEETING

During their regular meeting, commissioners also approved federal reimbursements for the Meeker Airport ($32K) and Rangely Airport ($37K), approved a request for Meeker Lions Club to serve alcohol at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet on March 26, and renewed a grant award for the Area Agency on Aging ($86K). The board also awarded the 2022 Rangely overlay project to Frontier Paving Inc. for approximately $1.4 million.


By LUCAS TURNER | lucas@ht1885.com