County Beat: Summer events will be different

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Commissioners Tuesday approved — with some conditions — event plans for the Meeker Summer Rodeo Series, Rangely Hill Climb races, and Range Call in response to public health requirements.
Some details still need to be worked out, including safety guidelines for concessions and determining how many spectators can attend certain events, such as in the stands at the fairgrounds.

Commissioner Gary Moyer and Economic Development Director Makala Barton attended the Range Call Committee meeting last week, where plans for the 135th annual celebration were discussed.
“The committee recognizes it’s not going to look like it has in the past,” Moyer said. There will be no Range Call concert — to avoid attracting outside visitors, and no barn dance — because there’s not enough room to practice physical distancing. The 4th of July parade, which is organized by the Meeker Chamber of Commerce, is still on, as are the reenactment of the Meeker Massacre and the ranch rodeo. Fireworks displays were not mentioned.
At all public activities, wearing a face covering is recommended whenever social distancing is not an option.
The Rangely Canyon Pintado Hill Climb is scheduled for June 5-7. Contact the Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce for details and Covid-19 related guidelines.
In work sessions, Commissioners Si Woodruff and Moyer heard from facilities director Eric Jaquez regarding plans for work at the Rangely Airport. The Town of Rangely has said they would supply the labor for installation of new water lines if the county pays for the materials.
Work that has been budgeted for the Meeker Airport came up for discussion as well. The county budgeted approximately $270,000 for corrections related to stormwater runoff problems that have impacted nearby property owners.
The board, absent commission chair Jeff Rector due to illness, discussed whether the county can accomplish both airport projects concurrently.
“I don’t want to see us put a stop on that [Meeker airport] because we’re doing something in Rangely,” Moyer said. “We funded it to get it done this summer.”
Mike and Patti Hoke, whose home sits just below the airport, have gone before the commissioners several times to request help with overflowing stormwater that damages their driveway and threatens their property.
The commissioners agreed to revisit the Meeker project and go forward from there.
Commissioners heard Harvey’s regular monthly public health update. Public Health will sponsor the “mock car crashes” for the high schools as part of a state mandate for child fatality prevention. Next year the prevention effort will be focused on fire safety and protection, following the death of a juvenile in a cabin fire earlier this year.
Thanks to a grant from Rocky Mountain Health, RBC Public Health purchased an iPad to be used for clients to access telehealth services for mental health.
“There are lots of opportunities for telehealth that people can get access to services we don’t have here,” Harvey said.
Public Health will also be doing tox screens for the Department of Human Services again. “It’s really difficult for DHS to coordinate that right now,” Harvey said.
In regular business, the board:
• Approved appointments to the Columbine Park Advisory Board (Jay McLaughlin) and the Rangely Lodging Tax Board (Henry Hames and Terry Drake).
• Opened bids for the County Rd. 7 bridge replacement project. The project estimate was $654,038. Bids came in between $745,000 and $910,991. Road and Bridge will review the bids and recommend approval at the next meeting.
• The board awarded bids for insecticide spraying to Coulter Aviation for $60,000; Grand Junction Winwater for culverts and gabion baskets for $34,381; lower White River pest control spraying to Coulter Aviation for $139,168; and the Rio Blanco Weed and Pest Helicopter bid to Colorado Fire Aviation at a rate of $1,350 per hour.
• Approved contract modifications with Scott Contracting to extend the CR5 project completion date, and United Companies for CR8 surface treatment to increase the scope of the project and thus the contract amount by $544,043.
• Approved an agreement between the RBC Board of Commissioners, Garfield County, and Trappers Lake Lodge and Restaurant that the restaurant will comply with RBC Covid-19 suppression plans. Because the lodge is accessible from RBC, but the property is in the boundaries of Garfield County, a variance was needed. Garfield County could choose not to approve the agreement, according to County Attorney Todd Starr.

By NIKI TURNER | editor@ht1885.com