Dinosaur mayor seeks letter of ‘no objection’ from Rangely council on casino proposal

RANGELY | The Rangely Town Council met for their regular meeting on Tuesday night. During the meeting they heard a request for support from the Dinosaur casino project from the Dinosaur Mayor and approved additional funding for the Chamber of Commerce.
Town of Dinosaur Mayor Richard Blakely approached the council regarding the Ute Indian Tribe’s attempt to acquire land in the Dinosaur vicinity to build a casino. Blakely was seeking a letter of ‘no objection’ from the council regarding the casino.
Rangely Mayor Joseph Nielsen voiced concerns including the number of acres the tribe is seeking (approximately four square miles) which he described as “excessive,” rights-of-way, ambulance and law enforcement services and sovereign status. “We don’t want to see northern Utes having a seat at the table in Colorado,” said Nielsen. Nielsen said the council would not endorse the casino, but once their apprehensions were addressed they would express that they have no concerns.
Chamber of Commerce Director Konnie Billgren updated the council on the Chevron work taking place this summer. Billgren said she is expecting around 400 temporary employees in late May/early June. However, preparations for the workers are beginning now, including meeting with local restaurants. Billgren is expecting the first living quarters to arrive in town on April 25. Chevron will be providing meals for the workers daily at noon and midnight.
A resolution providing funding to the Chamber of Commerce was approved unanimously. The Council will be providing $15,000 of budgeted money, as well as an additional $5,000 to cover increased activities and salaries for 2017 to the Chamber. Billgren told the council that she really believes she needs additional part time staff for the chamber office.
The council also approved a resolution for the outdoor advertising signs location and maintenance, chip sealing at various locations around town and an application for a technical assistance grant in the amount of $5,000 to help fund the 2017 Dinosaur Spectacular, which council member Lisa Hatch said was expected to cost $42,000-44,000 and bring in approximately $35,000 in revenue.
The council will meet again on April 11 at 7 p.m.