COUNTY BEAT: Facilities updates, childcare options

FACILITIES

Facilities Director Eric Jacquez and staff shared a quarterly update with commissioners. A facility-wide replacement of automated paper towel and soap dispensers will save about $2,600 annually, according to Jacquez. The project coincided with the rollout of a new work order system, semi annual HVAC maintenance and other general maintenance projects.

Bigger projects on the list for 2022 include a drainage improvement project at the Meeker airport. Jacquez noted that all materials for the project had arrived. Work will begin once the weather warms up.

The county is also looking into new water line installation at the airport, which would allow for the construction of new airport hangers. Facilities staff have been collecting information about the feasibility of such a project, and the board hopes installation could take place “when the trench is already open” on the drainage project. Commissioners will review bids for the work at a future meeting.

Jacquez and staff are also collecting information about replacing IT equipment/software at the Justice Center in Meeker, which acts as the “ main brain” of the facility and controls automated door locks, cameras, intercom and other systems.

A selection committee made up of staff from Colorado Northwestern Community College and the county has selected a new Rangely Airport Manager. Jacquez, who participated in the hiring process, said the new hire will start in April.

DHS

Department of Human Services Director for Moffat and Rio Blanco counties Tia Murry discussed personnel updates Tuesday. The department has hired a new Assistant Director who will live in Rangely, set to start later this month. 

Murry said after hiring more staff, the “next big thing“ for DHS will be looking into childcare options in the community. Referencing a meeting with ERBM Recreation and Park District’s Executive Director Sean VonRoenn, Murry said,  “what I did learn that I didn’t realize before is that they have the capacity to serve more children.” She added that according to VonRoenn, the Meeker Recreation Center could potentially double capacity if licensed as a childcare facility. 

Murry said she’s looking into state grants for funding options. A similar option could be on the table with the Rangely Recreation Center, though no official meeting to discuss the option has taken place yet. Murry added that CNCC could also act as a potential partner for expanding child care options in the county.

REGULAR MEETING

The board approved state-mandated changes to the county’s open recordcous policy, increasing the hourly fee from $30 to $33.78. Other changes relate to footage that can be released from law enforcement body cams. 

Other changes to the county’s procurement policies approved by the board this week will allow department heads to spend up to $8K without seeking at least two price quotes. The previous threshold for price bids was $5K. 

The board signed a letter opposing legislation that would mandate collective bargaining for public employees. Commissioner Gary Moyer said passage “would be very detrimental.”

Other items passed by the board included:

• $50K bid award and contract with Coulter Aviation for insecticide aerial spraying

• contract modification with Yampa Valley psychotherapists to increase scope of work to “other types of individual therapy”

• annual RBC Wildland Fire Operating Plan

• purchase/license agreement with Calix, Inc. for the RBC Broadband Project

• CDPHE waste diversion grant for Overton Recycling

ROAD AND BRIDGE

Road and Bridge Director Scott Marsh said planned work for a County Road 5 and 64 bridge could qualify for federal grant funding to cover 100% of proposed costs, based on recent grant calls about the federal Build Back Better legislation and funding. 

Ongoing or planned projects include a County Road 8 chip seal, paving in the Rangely area to start sometime next month, repairing a compactor at the landfill, and fixing a sinkhole on County Road 25.


By LUCAS TURNER | lucas@ht1885.com