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RANGELY | Last Thursday Better City hosted a well-attended public forum on economic and community development in Rangely. There were approximately 70 people in attendance.
The meeting was designed to gauge local interests and desires in the areas of community, workforce and economic development.
Community development was defined as things that would improve the livability of the town while economic development was described as those things that would grow or recruit business. Attendees were encouraged to participate in live voting through internet access on their cell phones.
The first question posed to the audience was “what makes Rangely unique.” The most popular response was outdoor recreation. This was followed by the group choosing increased job opportunities and economic diversification as the most important potential outcomes from the Better City project.
When asked to rank potential new businesses for Rangely, grocery was chosen as the most important, followed by marijuana/hemp cultivation, recreation equipment rentals, brewery/pub and car wash. The audience ranked community development opportunities with a walkable Main Street as number one, followed by office space and river activation such as trails and beaches. Economic development opportunities were ranked with a business incubator as number one, co-work space as number two and expansion of aviation industry at number three.
Attendees worked in small groups to create maps of what they thought the town should like and presented their ideas. County commissioner Jeff Rector emphasized the potential for hemp in the area and Rangely True Value owner Roger Polley discussed the impact a business incubator could have in supporting new business ventures.
The information garnered from the meeting will be used by the town to help determine the next steps in the Better City project.