Feasibility study planned for proposed rural water district near Rangely

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RANGELY I The Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District (RBWCD) Board of Directors is taking a step forward on a proposal to create a Rural Water Enterprise. The project would provide a reliable, high-quality supply of drinking water to properties outside the Town of Rangely, that are not served by the Town’s water system.

Public information meetings were held in February and August where potential water customers had the opportunity to ask questions. Alden Vanden Brink, RBWCD’s District Manager, says they’ve seen a good amount of interest from potential rural water system members. “I think getting running water to these people is incredibly important. This project has the potential to drastically improve the lives of people who are currently making do without something the vast majority of the population takes for granted – high quality tap water,” says Vanden Brink. 

The RBWCD Board has contracted with Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. (AE2S) of Dillon to complete a feasibility study for the plan which may include purchasing potable water from the Town of Rangely and distributing water via a new rural water distribution pipe system to customers who do not have running water on their properties. 

The goal of the feasibility study is to provide a conceptual design of the system, identify design, construction and operational challenges, determine overall project costs for the District, identify funding strategies and develop a project schedule from design through construction. The project will be funded in part by membership fees which are one-time upfront costs from property owners who sign up to receive potable water. As part of the feasibility study, project coordinators are looking into federal and state grants to reduce the costs to the future members. “We’ve been in contact with funding administrators regarding potential opportunities, their requirements and application timelines which will help develop our design tasks for next year,” says Vanden Brink. 

Currently, there are an estimated 95 properties without running water in the initial proposed service area. Monthly water bill rates will be contingent upon any grant funding received and number of accounts served by the district. “The number of people interested in memberships will ultimately determine the monthly fees for water service and may impact on how much funding the project is eligible to receive, so we encourage any interested property owners to contact us,” says Vanden Brink. 

The Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District will hold additional public information meetings for prospective members over the coming months. If you are interested in more information about the proposed rural water district or you would like to be notified of future meetings and project updates, please contact the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District at 2252 East Main in Rangely, call 970-675-5055, or email rbwcd@yahoo.com.


Special to the Herald Times

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