Rangely approves four-stage drought response plan

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RANGELY | Town of Rangely trustees approved the Town’s Drought Emergency Response Plan during their regular meeting Tuesday. The plan outlines four stages of emergency response.

  • Stage 1: Minor Shortage Potential – Voluntary Restrictions on Water Use
  • Stage 2: Moderate Shortage Potential – Mandatory Limited Restrictions on Water Use
  • Stage 3: Severe Shortage – Mandatory Restrictions on Water Use
  • Stage 4: Curtailment of Nonessential Water Use

The plan lists parameters for determining how severe a water shortage is, ranging from demands starting to fall below supply limits at the less-severe level, to stream usage being unable to sustain demand at the very severe level. Voluntary restrictions on water use would include encouraging residents conserve water in various ways like refraining from washing streets, parking lots and sidewalks, or watering lawns less frequently. Mandatory restrictions during more severe drought conditions include instituting Tier pricing based on monthly water usage for residential properties, restrictions on vehicle and equipment washing and others.

The response plan also specifies that residents and visitors will be notified via Reverse 911 and other methods in the event that water restrictions are implemented. You can read more details in the plan at https://tinyurl.com/rgdroughtresponse

Trustees received an update from Town Water Manager Don Reed, who among other items said the town should be “more forceful” in assisting with the Rio Blanco County water conservancy district with the Wolf Creek Reservoir. Reed also discussed a CR2 water line project, which would bring potable water to 56 users. When discussing the town’s drought response plan, he emphasized the need for defining fines and enforcement measures during times of critical curtailment. If the Town ever reaches “stage 4” it could require water to be shipped into town for essential uses.

Town manager Lisa Piering talked about a meeting with Western Slope Oil and Gas Association to discuss needed improvements to the community garden and efforts to get 4-H and high school students involved.

Rangely Police Chief Ti Hamblin spoke to the board about the department’s K9 program. Hamblin said a private donor recently pledged up to $10,000 to help fund a K9 replacement, including some costs for training and equipment. The total price tag will be closer to $15,00 but Hamblin said he would be able to cover the rest with his existing operational budget.

By LUCAS TURNER | lucas@ht1885.com